Saturday, July 13, 2024

‘Leaked’ questions


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Shamelessness is a common character with the political leadership. A lack of enforcement of accountability on the part of those in power and positions worsens the scenario. They, and the bureaucracy in tow, are a rule unto themselves and a shame on any civilized society. The low levels to which politics and governance have sunk are reflected starkly in the present cancellation of the UGC-NET test following a question paper leak. There’s egg on the face of the National Testing Agency of the UGC, which had also bungled the common entrance test for B-Ed courses a week ago. That examination was also cancelled due to a question paper leak. These apart, the NEET Medical Entrance Examination too had a question paper leak and the case is now before the Supreme Court. Over 11 lakh applicants had written the UGC-NET test only to hear within a matter of hours that it has been cancelled – meaning, these educated youths will have to wait for a fresh exam and pass through the struggle of preparations again by burning the midnight oil.
The higher education system has been facing serious odds. Indian universities hardly find a mention in the global lists of top-100. Negligible numbers of foreign students come to this country for education, because the universities have no reputation for high standards. The flow of students is rather from India to foreign universities. This pathetic situation is despite the huge raise in the salaries of academicians since the 1990s. Now, a complaint is that academicians have lost their interest in teaching and are inclined more to “enjoying” material pleasures. The UGC as an institution and the education ministry too have let down the nation through perpetuation of nepotism and incompetence of the worst kind. They proved beyond doubt that they have no competence to even hold an entrance exam. This will have long-term adverse impacts on the nation’s well-being itself.
It is no secret that the past 10 years of the Narendra Modi-led governance of the nation has left many areas untouched in the matter of periodic rejuvenation of the systems. It carried on by recourse to bluff and bluster and some welfare measures for the common man. The government is packed with incompetent hands. The way vested interests are allowed to hold sway over the education system and how faceless figures run the education ministry are both shameful and disgusting. The exam paper leaks are only a symptom of a deeper malady. These deeply hurt millions of educated youths aspiring for teaching posts and research in the universities. An investigation, or the matter being heard by the Supreme Court, might not mean much. The minister himself is a misfit.


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