Profiteering and Injustice: Online entrance examinations and JNU

This article outlines the problems with online entrance examinations in multiple-choice format for the social sciences and humanities, drawing on the experience of Jawaharlal Nehru University. The objections are both academic and logistical, but there are also concerns about security, the possibility of manipulation of results, and the enormous financial cost involved. The commitment to social justice is also profoundly compromised by the shift to online entrance exams

The announcement of computerized online entrance examinations for Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), in the form of multiple choice questions (MCQ), appears, on the face of it, to be merely yet another bureaucratic, ill-thought-out, and hasty change in higher education policy. We need to be alert to what is going on because there are two kinds of more substantial drastic transformations in higher education underway. One is the devastation of the public university system and its replacement by private players who would be given free rein to run universities as profit-making organizations. This process, however, predates the Narendra Modi regime.

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