THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Assignment solution PDFs, Handwritten ready-made assignments. Call or WhatsApp on XXXXXXXXXX.’ This is the message that reached many IGNOU students via their mobile numbers and e-mail accounts that were provided during university enrolment. Last year, though Express had exposed this blatant violation of university rules, the assignment trade continues unabated.
Shyma (name changed) a government employee, and an MA student at IGNOU from Kerala, purchased assignments after contacting one such Whatsapp number. She deposited Rs 100 per subject in a bank account they had provided. The rate was Rs 100 because she was being given just the material to make a handwritten copy as IGNOU mandates handwritten copies.
These handwritten assignments cost much more. Even some bookselling sites have books named ‘IGNOU Assignment Solutions 2019’. Last September, 45 students had their assignments nullified due to forgery forcing them to forgo their exams that turn. The lecturer who marked the students had identified at least four similar patterns in the submitted assignments.
Anand Krishnamurthy, a former IGNOU guide and a student said: “This is a rampant practice. Only students who submit the assignment can write the exam. They have to secure 40 out of possible 100 in their assignments. When the results are published, if a student fails in assignments their results are not released. We warn the students often. However, most of the students are employed and would take the easy way out.”
People looking for promotions in their government jobs and even people from the teaching field are students of IGNOU.Every year, the IGNOU assignment questions are changed to minimize forgery. However, the process continues.