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IIT JEE candidate challenges CBSE in Delhi HC to provide answer key with PnA Law

A candidate for India’s toughest engineering entrance exam, the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the National Institute of Technology (NIT), has challenged the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in the Delhi high court to force it to disclose the exam’s answer key after results.

The JEE is a three stage entrance exam for gaining admission to India’s highest ranked IIT and NIT engineering universities. It consists of a prelim, mains, and advanced testing stage.

Kartik Narendra Jain, formerly a Somerville Greater Noida school student, cleared the JEE’s preliminary examination in his first attempt this year but could not make it past the 25 April main exam. Jain has challenged the CBSE to disclose the key on the basis of which his paper was evaluated, through PnA Law Offices co-founding partners advocates Rashi Bansal and Aritra Das.

In an emailed statement Bansal wrote: “The writ […] questions the policy of non-disclosure of ‘key answers’ followed by the CBSE, which forms the basis of evaluating the answers given by students. The Petition also alleges certain questions in the physics and mathematics section as being (a) vague, subjective and capable of having more than one correct answer(s), & (b) with no correct choice for a student to pick while answering a multiple choice objective type question.”

Nearly 12.5 lakh students attempted the mains, and the top 1.5 lakh according to the 7 May result are now eligible to appear in the advanced exam, Bansal told Legally India.

Bansal said that Jain had missed the advanced exam cut-off by 10 marks, which he should have scored in the physics paper according to JEE coaching centre FIIT JEE’s version of the answer key.

“The system of conducting competitive examinations should be transparent and CBSE should upload the key answers while disclosing the results,” she said adding,”once the CBSE discloses the ‘key answers’ the court will examine their correctness by a panel of independent professors from a central university. In case the court opines that the ‘key answers’ are incorrect, we will press for orders directing the CBSE to conduct a re-examination […].”

Jain’s writ WPC 3087/2013 was today listed in the Delhi high court. It will be heard on 22 May. The advanced exam is scheduled for 2 June 2013.

Several other students have alleged a discrepancy of 25 to 30 marks between their expected result and their actual mains result, reported the Hindustan Times on Saturday.

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