Kolkata: Observing that a candidate had answered a few questions incorrectly only due to mistranslations in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test 2018 (NEET 2018), the Calcutta High Court has ruled in favour of the candidate and awarded 16 marks for the four wrong answers and 4 marks on account of negative marking incurred.
The case concerns one W A Hossain, who took the examination in the Bengali language. He moved the HC seeking compensatory marks being awarded to him by reason of errors in translation of questions in the NEET question paper.
In his writ petition, the petitioner claimed that there are 7 erroneous questions in the paper. The court observed 5 mistranslated questions out of the 7. The NEET candidate had attempted all these five questions and four of them were answered wrong, which he alleged were due to the mistranslated questions.
The counsel on behalf of the petitioner NEET candidate pointed out seven questions indicating erroneous translation and thereby to demonstrate a requirement of more time, as an examinee; compared to a candidate who attempted the same test in English. The questions are numbers 14, 30, 45, 121, 148, 163 and 165.
The test paper contained 180 questions. Marking was on basis of the award of four marks for correct answer and negative (-1) mark for an incorrect answer.
The Board CBSE, previous exam conducting body of NEET, was asked to inform HC the following, regarding these questions:-
- In question 14 reflection and refraction of unpolarized light was put to examinees. Whether reflection and refraction of light, incident on a plain surface, is 7 possible. If yes, whether any answer option would correctly answer that question with reference to light as opposed to unpolarized light?
- In question 30 while the English question asked for the rate of production of heat, the translated question asked for measure of kinetic energy. Whether answer options given in the question contained correct answer to the question put in relation to kinetic energy?
- 4th answer option to question 121 states upright pyramid of numbers of stages. Key answer, as submitted, is inverted pyramid of bio-mass. What is upright pyramid considering it to have key answer as inverted pyramid, whether upright pyramid not being inverted pyramid, is a pyramid in a different position than usually found?
- By question number 163 in English, bond dissociation energy was asked for. Translated question in Bengali asked for bond association energy. Whether of answer options given in that question, there is any answer option which is correct for the question if had been for bond association energy?
- Whether density of iron at room temperature (bcc structure) or its density at 900 degrees centigrade (fcc 8 structure) can be expressed other than as a fraction?”
As per the information brochure issued by the CBSE, in case of confusion in any question, the English version will be accepted as the final version.
After noting the errors in translation and its subsequent analysis before the court, the bench of Justice Arindam Sinha was convinced that the petitioner should be awarded marks for those questions in the five above questions that he attempted and got wrong.
“Inference for being convinced is, petitioner appears to have read all 180 questions and answered those that he could. He gave wrong answers to erroneously translated questions.”
The court, reaching its verdict, held,
“Denying him marks on contention he ought to have compared with the questions set in English would be unjust. Firstly, because an examinee, in examination to find out depth of knowledge, will not 15 readily think the question is wrong. Second, comparison would then present such examinee with more difficulty. Petitioner wrongly attempted four of the five questions having correctly answered one of them.”
As a result, the court awarded in total 20 additional marks to the petitioner NEET candidate.
“There will be direction upon the Board to award 16 marks to petitioner for these four questions and in addition four to offset negative marking on those questions. Petitioner will thus get addition of twenty marks to his tally of marks.”
In an earlier interim order, in this case, the Calcutta High Court had held a seat vacant for the petitioner should he qualify the exam with the marks after the case verdict is reached. However, the petitioner still needs three more marks as the cutoff is 420.
TOI reports that the candidate now plans to move the division bench pleading that not just five, but 98 out of the 180 questions were wrongly translated.
Attached is the detailed judgment below: