Exam goof up: 3 more students commit suicide in Telangana

Hyderabad: Even as students and parents continued their protests for the third day, three more students committed suicide yesterday in Telangana after the alleged goof up by the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE).

Scores of people gathered at the TSBIE office demanding justice for the students declared failed in the intermediate exams. Members of opposition parties and the students’ organisations continued and Students’ Federation of India attempted to stage a sit-in before Pragathi Bhavan. 

The Telangana government yesterday decided not to charge any fee for recounting and reverification of papers from failed students. Three more intermediate students allegedly committed suicide yesterday, taking the total number to 13. However, Balala Hakkula Sangham, a city-based child rights NGO, has reported that 17 students including the nephew of Telugu Desam Party Rajya Sabha MP C M Ramesh have reportedly committed suicide as of yesterday.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao held a meeting with Education Minister G Jagadeesh Reddy and officials on the declaration of results. He directed that the process of recounting and reverification should be expedited in the interests of students, said media reports.

Reverification and recounting, in case of students who passed the exam, would be done as per prevailing norms and be completed as early as possible.

The CM has also said that advanced supplementary exams must be conducted and the results declared at the earliest as students will have to appear for competitive exams like NEET and JEE.

Rao also condoled the deaths of the students and appealed them not to take the extreme step as failing in exam does not amount to failing in life. About 9.74 lakh students appeared for the Intermediate exam this year, of which 3.28 lakh have failed.

“Some students and their parents are of the opinion that during the process of addition of marks, mistakes took place resulting in less marks than expected and hence they failed,” Rao was quoted saying.

Observing that the government and also the students and their parents faced “headache” with regard to Intermediate examination and also EAMCET (Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine Common Entrance Test) every year, Rao said such a situation needs to be avoided. It has to be examined whether the responsibility of conducting examinations could be entrusted to an autonomous body.

The chief minister also enquired about the identification of outsourcing agencies and their ability to process data of intermediate students and declaration of results. To this, the officials told Rao that the identification was done on the basis of tender process and the responsibility was entrusted to the firm which quoted the lowest tender.

The capacity of the outsourcing agencies who submitted tenders was assessed by technology experts and everything was done as per norms and procedures, said officials.

Speaking to reporters, State education department secretary B Janardhan Reddy said the government would take measures, including holding discussions with educational institutions and civil society, to put an end to suicides by students.

He further said that 55,000 students have already applied for reverification and recounting after the results were announced this year. All types of errors would be rectified, he said. Some errors take place every year as the declaration of results is an elaborate process and that reverification and recounting are the ways to rectify them, said Reddy.

Police officials have been deployed near the Board of Intermediate Education office due to the protests. In the wake of the event, Telangana government on Monday set up a three-member panel to inquire into the handling of the process by Globarena Technologies. Globarena is a private IT firm roped in by it.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president N Uttam Kumar Reddy asked partymen to hold protests in front of offices of district Collectors on Thursday against the failure of TRS government in conducting exams properly.

NT Bureau