This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Mrunal Girhepuje. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

“I Can’t Fight Or Afford A Lawyer”: IIMC Student On Alleged Errors In Entrance Exam Merit List

Today is the day when I wish to be heard for the first time. My today might be just another day for you but I wish for you to listen to me through this. I may be the youth of India, the world’s largest democracy, but today I wish I were not “a citizen” but “citizens”.

Listening to stories and reading books (especially NCERTs), I always wanted to stand for the right, for “justice”. I believed in the power of citizens. I believed that if “one person can bring a change”, so can I. And today, here I am, yearning for justice but how do I define it when I know that I am important for casting a vote but not for seeking my right? I am a student; I am told that I am the future leader but how to fight for my future when I am not important?

Here is my story. My name is Mrunal Girhepuje and I aspire to become a media person. Following my aspirations, I appeared for the entrance exam of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication on October 18 conducted by the National Testing Agency. I prepared and scored 90/100.

Varied Merit Lists, All Faulty

Please note that the score was real without any unfair means. I was pretty confident about my score and I expected my name on the merit list. I knew for sure that my year won’t be hampered even in this pandemic. The merit list released and I could not find my name. I had so many questions. Did I not study right? Did I not deserve it? The list was flawed, there were repeated names in different categories (SC, ST, OBC, General).

The list was flawed, there were repeated names in different categories (SC, ST, OBC, General). Photo: The Quint

I fought on my behalf (using social media of course!). The rectified list released the next day had names of the “withheld students” (caught using unfair means). I, and other people like me, we fought again.

“It is very fishy, because how can students’ names appear on the merit list when their results are withheld?” a student told The Quint.

Photo: The Quint

There was a final list but without my name in it. And I thought that maybe I didn’t deserve it, maybe I should try again. And then I opened the “consolidated mark list” which had scores of all the students. We’re glad that another list on November 2 was put up but the criterion for changing names was not clarified.

And another student told The Quint that the merit list was inconsistent. “A student who scored 86 marks got the admission but a student who scored 92 did not get it.”

Cheating During The Exam

Over 375 students scored 90+ in my subject! The cut-off rose to 98 and I thought that I needed to study hard. But then I remembered. This exam was online and from home (if you know what I mean). Then it struck me: with all the loopholes in the system, and all the means to cheat, how did I not already expect this mark list to be fake and exam to be unfair? Candidates could easily log out of the NTA browser and re-login. This left the space for candidates to browse the answers. The webinar mentioned about login and re-login in the case of internet issues. Several candidates were not asked for verification which includes checking their Government IDs and the Admit cards.

Proof that unfairness and cheating was a part of the IIMC entrance exam.
But hey, I can’t fight. Yes, I can play on Twitter and other social networking sites. I am also glad that a few media organizations have raised this concern, but I can’t raise my voice. Why? I am just one. Justice for me? Nobody bothers. I don’t have people who can walk with me and ask for it. I can’t fight. I am a student and I can’t afford a lawyer. I can’t justify my proof because the source won’t reveal their name. And hence, I am a citizen who can vote but not seek her rights.

Case dismissed.

Created by Mrunal Girhepuje

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Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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