RGUHS: MBBS students protest for implementation of new evaluation scheme; varsity "not ready"

With upcoming exams, the first and second-year MBBS students are confused about whether to study for the next exam or repeat a year 
Glimpse from the protest | (Pic: Lokesh Ram)
Glimpse from the protest | (Pic: Lokesh Ram)

The evaluation scheme employed by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Bengaluru, Karnataka, has left over 500 students at crossroads. The first and second-year MBBS students are confused about whether to study for the next exam or repeat a year. The issue has been dragging on for more than five months and students' anxiety is on the rise.

On December 1, the students staged a protest at RGUHS demanding that a new evaluation scheme be implemented. "Our exams concluded in May. Since that time we have been asking for a new evaluation system. Then the college authorities asked us to go to the court and said that if the court approves, they will implement the new system. We filed an appeal in the High Court and the judgement came in our favour, but still, the university is not listening to us," said an MBBS student from RGUHS, on the condition of anonymity.

The matter stands thus: The students' results were declared in June. Over 500 students from the first year had failed the exams by just two to three marks due to the evaluation scheme, they claim. In the month of April RGUHS, had brought out an ordinance notifying about a new valuation scheme and the students stated that had this scheme been implemented by the time their results were declared, they would have passed. But the new scheme was implemented much later in September. 

The students then approached the HC and the case dragged on for five months. On November 9, the court order finally came, based on the university's April ordinance. The order stated that the new scheme be implemented for the students. A time of two weeks was awarded to the university to conduct the re-evaluation and declare the revised results. 

"The respondent-University is directed to complete the entire exercise of re-computing the results within two weeks from the date of receipt of this order and announce the results...Consequent upon re-evaluation of the result, if the student becomes eligible to be promoted to the second-year or third-year course, such student shall be permitted to attend the classes of second-year or third-year MBBS classes, as the case may be," the court order, as shared by a student, states.

However, the students claim that the university did no such thing and the two weeks' time has expired. Therefore they resorted to protests, which was held near the Registrar's office at the Jayanagar-RGUHS interface. The protest was led by a parent, Savitha Harish, who says, "Despite the court order, the university is not ready to comply. Even after the protest, we did not get any suitable response from the authorities." 

Meanwhile, Lokesh Ram, President of the Research Scholar Association at Banglore University, who supported the students' protest on the site, stated, "In my opinion, the administration has spoken positively. During the protest, the VC came down to speak with the students and now they have constituted a committee to decide on the matter." He added that the committee will have the VC, Registrar and other syndicate members of RGUHS. But when a decision will be taken remains a question, the students say.

The evaluation processes
According to both the old and new evaluation processes, there were two evaluators appointed to check the papers. But as per the old process, an aggregate of the marks given by the two evaluators was considered to calculate the results. And with the new system, the best of the marks given by the evaluators would be considered.

"With the university not initiating the re-evaluation, we are in a lot of confusion. Our exams are coming up in January and there is only a month left for preparations. But we do not know if we should study for the next year or repeat this year. The thought of standing on the verge of losing a year is troubling us every single day," said Arpita, a first-year student from RGUHS.

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