JIPMER Question Paper, Answer Key to be given under RTI : CIC
PUDUCHERRY: The Central Information Commission has directed the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Puducherry to provide the question paper along with the answer key of an entrance exam conducted by it for admission. The landmark order that came on an RTI petition could bring greater transparency to the high-stress entrance test system.Access to papers and answer keys would help aspirants, both current and future, understand what and why they were getting wrong and help them prepare for such tests better. The order will apply to all entrance exams in India.
The RTI application was filed by Puducherry Government Medical Officers’ Association general secretary Dr K Sudhakar with the Jipmer public information officer (PIO), seeking a copy of the question paper and answer key of the entrance examination held in July 2011 for admission to MCh in urology. PIO James Sekar denied the information on the ground that it was not the practice of the institute to share question papers of entrance tests. Sudhakar then approached the first appellate authority, which declared that it was “satisfied with the PIO’s reply.”
Undeterred, Sudhakar moved the CIC. Central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, after hearing the case through videoconference, ordered the PIO to furnish a copy of the question paper with answer key by February 10.
Central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, after hearing the case through videoconference, ordered the PIO to furnish a copy of the question paper with answer key by February 10.
Gandhi, in his January 23 order, pointed out that the right toinformation is a fundamental right and the denial can only be based on the provisions of exemptions under Section 8 (1) of the RT Act. “ThePIO cannot deny information based on arbitrary whims or policies of various institutions,” Gandhi said.
When thePIOsaidtherewas a possibility that the information may have been destroyed, the commissioner warned that destruction of information sought under the RTI Act will have “serious repercussions”.
“JIPMER does not provide question papers with answer keys of its entrance exams. The instituteonly announcesthelist of selected students with their marks.The students are notin a position to verify their performance as they do not have access to the question paper and answer key,” Sudhakar told TOI.
Entrance exams in India make or break the future of lakhs of young people. This may be unfortunate, but it is a fact that we cannot ignore. Given this reality, it makes sense for the entire system of entrance exams to reach for the highest possible levels of transparency. It is in this context that the ruling of the Central Information Commission ought to be seen. Rather than be dragged kicking and screaming to enhance transparency, bodies that conduct these exams should willingly embrace it.