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CLAT aspirant’s concerned dad: With great power comes great responsibility so why was the CLAT rubbish (again) this year?

An anonymous and concerned CLAT aspirant’s father rails against the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2015, which, as last year, he argues was of a disturbingly low quality.

It had a number of wrong questions, wrong answers, printing errors, and grammatical and spelling errors, even if we don’t argue about the general low quality of this copy-paste exercise. Even copy-paste requires careful verification of every single word that one copies from somewhere.

Irreversible Damage

When a few questions are wrong in a national-level competitive exam, the situation cannot simply be corrected by awarding bonus marks for each wrong question to all the examinees.

Some of the deserving candidates would get unnerved or frustrated while attempting the wrong questions. It would impact their overall exam performance, and they would lose out in the process.

Lack of Transparency

Complete non-transparency in any system naturally brings about these kinds of disasters because those in command believe they are not accountable, they are beyond questioning, and therefore a very casual attitude, laxity, and worst of all, a sense of arrogance sets in.

Non-transparency is the central characteristic of dictatorships, not of democratic systems.

Who exactly sets the CLAT question paper? Who revises or verifies or approves it after it has been set? Who solves the questions actually to determine their accurate answers before copy-pasting from commercial books, websites, and printed materials of coaching institutes? Is there any individual or group or committee on whom the accountability can be pinned down?

The answer is simply “No.” There is a complete lack of accountability in a non-transparent system, which gives rise to such hopeless eventualities that play havoc with the careers of children.

Unprofessional Questions

Consider this sample from CLAT 2015, which is merely a representative of the entire question paper: “Name the largest e-commerce company in the world.”

Obviously, the question has been copy-pasted from some low-quality book or magazine. The question is unqualified per se.

The appropriate question could be: “Name the largest e-commerce company by annual sales revenue in 2014,” or “Name the largest e-commerce company by market capitalization in 2014,” or “Name the largest e-commerce company by the number of employees in 2014.”

Business Standard reported on September 21, 2014 that Alibaba’s market cap exceeded that of Amazon and eBay combined. However, the CLAT 2015 Answer Key declares, quite casually, “Amazon is the largest e-commerce company in the world.”

Cavalier Attitude

This kind of recklessness happens in a non-transparent system when the paper-setter knows he is beyond questioning, and he is only next to the Almighty.

The entire CLAT 2015 question paper reflects such cavalier attitude. A question paper will obviously become completely unbalanced when you copy-paste rampantly without applying any thought, and without tempering it with world-class professionalism, knowledge and experience.

The Burden of Responsibility

A good question paper must perform a careful balancing act in the quality and nature of its questions in order to select the best talent.

A national-level question paper is all-powerful. It decides the future of a generation. And as Spiderman says, great power comes with great responsibility.

The hand of the paper-setter must tremble when he lifts the pen to select a question. He must know the enormous burden of a nation’s future that his pen carries.

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