Report of various committees and Commission on Examination reforms including UGC plan of Action (1973) and N.P.E(1983)

1)According to the Report of the Education Commission (1964-66), “The crippling effect of external examinations on the quality of work in higher education is so great that examination reform has become crucial to all progress, and has to go hand in hand with the improvements in teaching.”

2)In order to reform the examination system in our country, the Mudaliar Commission laid stress on the use of objective type tests and internal assessment.

 3)Kothari commission too repeated these reforms and boldly suggested that the certificate of the student should bear his complete performance but there should be no remark to the effect that he has passed or failed in the whole examination, which  is very good suggestion and can be easily implemented.

What is examination reforms

1) Reform is needed for functional and reliable system of school-based evaluation.

2)There is often a lack of full disclosure and transparency in grading. 

3)While number of boards use good practices in pre-exam and exam management there remain several glaring shortfalls at several boards. 

4)Preparation of a National Examination Reform, Framework serves as a set of guidelines to the examining bodies which would have the freedom to innovate and adopt the framework to suit the specific situation.

Reports of University Grants Commission (U.G.C) regarding examination.

1)According to U.G.C, there is widespread interest in the question of the reform of the present examination system. It is generally recognised that there are serious disadvantages in the present system and that it is necessary to make the process of testing students relevant to the study undertaken by them and as accurate as can be made.

2)According to U.G.C, methods of testing should be related to practices of teaching and the conditions of study and should be capable of adjustment to particular situations and needs.

3)It is necessary to take a fair measure of agreement on what is aimed at and the steps by which the desired result can be obtained. 

4) Report of the Examination Committee appointed by the University Grants Commission intends to draw attention to the problem and to indicate certain steps that can be taken to improve the methods of examination in the universities. 

5) Some of the general statements made in the report apply to the situation as a whole, but would not apply in detail to every particular course of study or department of teaching, for instance, the phrase “essay type of examination” would be more relevant to examinations in the Humanities and Social Sciences than to the Natural Sciences, even at the undergraduate stage. 

6)U.G.C’s report has highlighted the fact that “teaching, learning and examination constitute a unity of functions”. Although the report has dealt at some length with the mechanical and technical aspects of the examination, it has also emphasised the fact that any reform in the examination would be ineffective without corresponding reform in the teaching and learning processes. 

Remarks made by Union Grant Commission.

1)The University Grants Commission thought that it was necessary to recognize examinations as an important element in the teaching process, contributing to the whole purpose of education.

2)It was necessary to define the educational objectives of teaching different subjects in addition to the general objectives of a liberal education. These objectives should determine the teaching as well as the examination in various subjects.

3)There is a need for a continual investigation of the operation of the existing system of examinations in Indian Universities, particularly about the Question’s reliability, Validity, techniques of evaluation, marks combination, methods of student selection, development of aptitude tests, and survey of methods available for the internal assessment of students 

4) A record should be maintained of the evaluation of periodic tests conducted by the teachers in each subject.

5)The total marks based on such records, should be taken into account in determining the final result, including the classification of students. Maintenance of these records the colleges should be constantly kept under examination by the universities. 

6)In the case of University Departments, the record of term work should be sent by the teacher concerned or the head of the Department to the Registrar, Controller of Examinations or other officer appointed for this purpose.

7)It is necessary for the University to examine cases of wide difference between the marks given by the Colleges for term work and the marks obtained by the students in the University Examinations.  

8) In the opinion of the Committee it is essential that the syllabuses in the various subjects should be revised from time to time to include therein the results of new developments, and also in the light of the fresh experience and the redefinition of the educational objectives.

9) Each university should set up a special unit to study examination reform in the context of that university. The unit would study the design of examinations, the tabulation and scaling of marks, and other features of the examination procedure, and make recommendations to the University authorities. 

10) The University Grants Commission initiated reforms and coordinate the work done in this field in the various universities. The information and conclusions of such work should be made available to universities and a journal may be brought out for that purpose.

Reports of N.P.E (National Policy on Education)

1)The National Policy on Education, 1986 emphasized continuous and comprehensive evaluation and the introduction of the semester system from the secondary stage. The National Policy on Education, 1986 recommended a new approach to examinations.

2) Performance is an integral part of any process of learning and teaching. As part of a sound educational strategy, examinations should be employed to bring about qualitative improvement in education.

3) The objective will be to recast the examination system to ensure a method of assessment that is a valid and reliable measure of student development and a powerful instrument for Improving teaching and learning.

4) At the institutional level will be streamlined and the predominance of external examinations reduced.

5) A National Examination Reform Framework would be prepared to serve as a set of guidelines to the examining bodies which would have the freedom to innovate and adapt the framework to suit the specific situations.

6) Programme of Action (P.O.A) 1992, under the National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 envisaged conducting a common entrance examination on an Indian basis for admission to professional and technical programmes in the country.

7) The Programme of Action (POA) suggested several specific short-term and long-term measures for carrying out examination reform at the school level as well as at the university level.