On Your Mark, Get Set, Reverse!

“PFA the team rank list of the Internal Selection rounds. Please note that the top 33 teams are advancing to the next round. Due to tied scores, we cut off at 216 and would include the team at rank 33 (instead of just 32 top teams). Congratulations to those who made the cut!”

Hold on a minute. I’ve gone off the rails.

The ADR society announced the results of the ADR Internal Selection rounds on Friday. It came as a rude shock to the participants (I being one of them) that the scoring wasn’t done on the basis of individual skills, but rather the cumulative scores of teams. This was due to the fact that we had been categorically told that the scoring would be done at an individual level for both the preliminary and advanced rounds.

There are several problems with this, which the student community adequately highlighted, the first being procedural unfairness and how it affects students’ performance drastically.  The derogation from the pre-announced procedure of selecting students on the basis of individual scores led to some teams making decisions on the basis of that fact. However, that strategy backfired when the cumulative team score was taken as the standard of advancing to the final rounds. This abrupt departure from the policy announced is unfair as it allowed participants to form strategies based upon the previous rules, which they believed in good faith would be followed.

This change is also unfair to all participants who weren’t privy to the decision making process and conversely, those participants who are a part of the ADR society had an unfair advantage over those who weren’t. Even if they were excluded from the decision making process, awareness of such a process would lead to them gaining the upper hand. This lack of transparency and formation of alternate rules without informing the student body is extremely problematic.

The reason given by the ADR society for this absurd change in rules at the last minute is that of maintaining consistency with the procedure followed in previous internal selections for moots and ADR rounds. There are two problems with this line of argumentation:

  1. If consistency was so intrinsic to this year’s procedure, then why wasn’t it adopted at the very outset of the competition, with clear reasoning and adequate notification given to the student body?
  2. Conflating mooting procedure with that of ADR is riddled with inconsistencies. In moots, team scores are taken into account because memos cannot be judged individually. However, there is no such requirement for ADR. Since individual scores have already been provided, why was it a problem to stick with the old policy of judging participants individually?

The problem is not with the team scoring in and of itself. If the student body had been told at the very outset that scoring would be on the basis of team performance in order to judge team work and smooth functioning, there wouldn’t have been any issues. However, this backtracking on the policy earlier announced is a problem, more so because it was done in a secretive manner. Mr. Mohit Mehta (Year III) has highlighted some disturbing statistics:

  1. Out of the 66 people who have qualified, only 54 have scored 112 or above.
  2. 12 people have scored less than 112 but have been selected.
  3. There are 5 people have scored 112 or above but have not been selected because of a lower team score than the cut off. In the list of those people who haven’t been selected there is a student who has scored 120, whereas in the list of selected people, there is a student with a score of 102.

This latest development only adds to the other concerns with regard to the internal selections. There were also allegations that members of the ADR Society who participated in the internal selections were also involved in organising the scoring.

We feel that the student body is owed an explanation and those participants who lost out unfairly, owed reparations.

 

(The ADR Society has yet to respond to these contentions.)

 

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