This will be implemented from March 2020 when around 7 lakh students from arts, commerce and science fields will take the II PUC exam. Last year, 6.9 lakh students had appeared for it. The department, which initially provided 14 pages as main sheets increased it to 22 pages two years ago. However, there was no restriction or limitations for students to get additional sheets.
Lecturers, assigned to monitor the exam, were given the invigilators diary and cover sheets or page sheets. The invigilators were directed to enter the students’ register number, booklet number and signature in the diary. The additional sheet number would be first entered in the page sheet and in the diary to prevent any discrepancy.
However, despite all measures adopted, there were some instances in which additional sheets were missing from the main booklet, change in handwriting from main to additional sheets and students forgetting to write their roll numbers on the additional sheets.
The change in handwriting had also led to confusion that additional sheets were inserted later and allegations of irregularities.
The department also received complaints from students, especially of science subjects, who applied for revaluation and retotalling that they found their answer sheets missing from the main pages.
It was also brought to the notice of the department that during exams students standing and asking for additional sheets disturbed other students. There are also chances for copying and distributing additional sheets to fellow students.
Department of Pre-University Education commissioner M Kanagavalli told TOI that giving additional sheets had generated problems. She said: “During exams, invigilators will distribute additional sheets, but in a few cases, students forget to write their register numbers on the sheets. The handwriting of students varies from main page and in the additional papers which leads to problem. So, we decided to provide booklet to students during exams and the government has given its approval.”
Kanagavalli said every year more than 1 lakh students apply for revaluation and retotalling, especially those from science subjects. “During scanning of answersheets, there’s a possibility of additional pages going missing. After studying these problems, it was decided to provide only 42-page booklet in which the first two pages will have instructions and guidelines and entering register numbers. The study found that 40 pages is enough for students to answer all questions,” she said.
“We also discussed students not using all 40 pages and wastage. But, considering the larger benefits, the initiative will be implemented,” she said.
Speaking to TOI, environmentalist Banu Mohan said that the PU department should not implement the new initiative of giving a 42 page-booklet instead of additional sheets. “Most students will not use all the pages in the booklet and so sheets will be wasted. We have to save paper. The PU department should follow the present system of giving additional sheets, if needed, and think of adopting better ideas to resolve the problems related to missing answer sheets,” she said.