No negative marking in competitive exams, says Madras high court

The Madras high court has held that the system of negative marking in the competitive examination has to be done away with, in as much as the same perforce requires reconsideration.

Justice R.Mahadevan gave the ruling while disposing of the petition filed by S.Nelson Prabhakar, a student.

The judge said the very system of awarding negative marks is improper and against principles of fairness, equality and equity. Students, who take part in competitive examinations, come from different strata of society. Those hailing from affluent families can afford to take private coaching and enhance their knowledge and techniques and the same cannot be expected from meritorious students coming from economically weaker background.

There has to be a level playing field in examination in general, especially in competitive examination. Negative marking acts a weight behind the mental strength of a student and the student approaches every question with an element of fear, the judge added.

The judge said he/she has to be doubly cautious, while choosing the answer for the question. In other words, a student has to be confident about the answer. Such confidence of knowing each and every answer cannot be expected from the students, meritorious or otherwise. If there was no negative mark, the students were given an opportunity to take a wide thinking and apply intelligent guessing.

This practice of taking an intelligent guess indeed, develops the brain of a student and builds his/her confidence to tackle any situation in future, the judge added.

SOURCE: Deccan Chronicle

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