CIC tells, JIPMER to give access to test paper.
The Central Information Commission has directed the Jawaharlal
Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry
to provide the question paper along with the answer key of an entrance exam conducted
by it for admission. The landmark order that came on an RTI petition could bring
greater transparency to the high-stress entrance test system. Access to papers and
answer keys would help aspirants understand what they were getting wrong and help
prepare for such tests better. Puducherry Government Medical Officers Association
general secretary Dr K. Sudhakar filed an RTI application with the JIPMER public
information officer (PIO) seeking a copy of the question paper along with the answer
key of the entrance examination held in July 2011 for admission into M.Ch in urology.
PIO James Sekar, denied the information on the ground that it was not the practice
of the institute to share question papers of entrance tests.
Sudhakar then approached
the first appellate authority, which declared it was satisfied with the PIOs reply.
Undeterred, Sudhakar moved the CIC. Central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi,
after hearing the case through a video conference, ordered the PIO to furnish a
copy of the question paper with the answer key by February 10. Gandhi, in his January
23rd order, pointed out that the right to information is a fundamental right and
the denial can only be based on the provision of exemptions under Section 8 (1)
of the RTI Act. The PIO cannot deny information based on arbitrary whims or policies
of various institutions, he said. When the PIO said the information may have been
destroyed, the commissioner warned that destruction of information sought under
the RTI Act will have serious repercussions. This is a landmark judgment as it applies
to all entrance exams in India. JIPMER does not provide question papers with the
answer keys of its entrance exams. The institute only announces the list of selected
students with their marks, Sudhakar told TOI.
Courtesy: Times of India