Madras High Court Rules against Negative Marking in Competitive Exams

The Madras High Court has ruled against negative marking in competitive examinations saying they are bad in law.

Observations of the Madras High Court

The Madras High Court while hearing a petition filed by an IIT JEE aspirant who failed to clear the Mains due to negative marking has made the following observations:

  • The Madras High Court has accepted the petitioner’s argument that negative marking is not prevailing anywhere else in the world.
  • The court said that negative marking acts only as “a bolt in the brain development” of students and prevents them from making intelligent guesses.
  • Deducting marks for wrong answers would not in any way help in analysing the intelligence, aptitude or knowledge of the candidates.
  • Every candidate could not be expected to know all answers for sure. In such circumstances, the practice of negative marking would hamper brain development and create a fear psychosis among students.
  • The court rejected the CBSE counsel’s argument that in Indian context the practice is necessary.

The judge stated that “Intelligent guessing is an art. It is very useful in our life. One cannot be sure about all things at all times. An individual will come across a situation where he/she has to decide an issue not merely based on his knowledge but with little guessing. While intelligent guessing requires an amount of prior knowledge on the subject, wild guessing is a decision taken just like that”

The Madras High Court ruled not to give negative marks for wrong answers and directed the CBSE to communicate the order to the National testing Agency which conducts the  JEE (Main) exam.

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