On June 02, 2018, I came all the way to New Delhi, to sit in an entrance exam for Post Graduation in Political Science, in one of the renowned institutions of India, Jamia Millia Islamia(JMI).
Way back in my nostalgic years of graduation, I had heard from my batch mates, seniors and professors about the impeccable academic achievements of JMI. So for this reason, I was interested in applying for my post graduation considering the outstanding faculty of the varsity. I studied with a fine tooth comb of my discipline, as I knew anything could be asked in the entrance, which is also the case for other university entrance exams.
This is an established notion or the vox populi that every varsity, not only from India but all around the academic world, will also ask questions from the earlier graduation course of the particular discipline too. I was cramming for my subject in which I planned to pursue my higher education to get broader wisdom and scholarship of my discipline. When I sat for the entrance, all of us in the room were handed the question paper, and we looked at every question as it provided food for thought.
When I turned the page after going through the first fifty questions, I realised that the remaining questions were from Science, Current affairs, Geography and History mostly, and not from Political Science as they were supposed to be. My conscience deprecated at first to even have a look at these questions and attempting them did not sit right with me. But I had to bite the bullet as I could not leave these questions unattempted. When I was done, I discussed the paper with my friends from JNU, HCU, AMU and Jadavpur University, to get their views on the paper. They all objected to the exam’s structure and disparaged it.
I waited for a month to see my result and then file a Right To Information(RTI) application on it. On the 30th of that month, the results were declared, and as I was sure I will clear the exam but that did not happen. So I filed an RTI to know the reason why the concerned authority was asking questions from the diverse disciplines or subjects even at the post graduation level for a particular subject.
In the above mentioned RTI, I waited for thirty days as prescribed under the RTI Act, 2005, to dispose of the concerned query. With the forbearance of the provocation of the administration, I was flabbergasted to see my RTI application nowhere to be found (even when the relevant authority of RTI online, operated by Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, provided me with a Registration number and a Payment reference number of my RTI), as you can see in the picture below.
It should be taken seriously that not only the JMI administration but the Central Information Commission which is working under the aegis of RTI Act, 2005, couldn’t do justice to provide the valid information to an applicant and even misplaced the RTI from the account. I was reading an article in dailyO about the disgruntled reactions to the loopholes in the entrance tests in particular and the dichotomy of the central university per se to be great in itself, failed to be good enough to be called a ‘University’.
With keeping in mind the above blunder, there is also another paradox in the so-called administration of the varsity. JMI’s entrance portal has provided the facility to the students to let them know if there is any fault in their overall entrance mechanism. It is bogus in itself. Although they have provided the mechanism, they forgot to let the students know where to address and how to address their grievances, as no further tabs open for going through with it, as you can see in the picture below.
So, when I saw all this, I was adamant to explicitly enunciate the whole event that happened to me in particular and to many more aspirants like me. There are a number of students with their testimonies, who want to naysay this established behaviour of the administration, which seems to have hibernated and do not care about even taking this into consideration. This kind of laxity will only ruin a student’s career and smash the expectation of a student who wishes to study in a good public funded university. The incumbent Vice-Chancellor Prof. Shahid Ashraf, who is at the helm of the varsity, must acknowledge with strenuous efforts to iron out these kosher issues with gravitas as they are not-so-subtle in the public domain.