The Telangana government Wednesday decided not to charge any fee for recounting and reverification of papers from failed students, as protests against alleged bungling in declaration of Intermediate examination results continued for the third day.
Three more intermediate students allegedly committed suicide reportedly due to failure in the exams during the last 24 hours, police said.
With this, the number of students who allegedly committed suicide has gone up to 13 since the past few days,police said.
Some student organisations alleged that since April 18, as many as 17 students across Telangana reportedly committed suicide as they failed or performed poorly in the exams.
Protests continued Wednesday with students and their parents assembling near the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE) office here, demanding justice for those declared 'failed' in the exams.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who held a meeting with Education Minister G Jagadeesh Reddy and officials on the declaration of results and subsequent developments, directed that the process of recounting and reverification should be expedited in the interests of students.
"Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has issued instructions to Officers concerned to get done free of cost the reverification and recounting of papers of all the Intermediate students who failed in the examinations," a release from the CM's office said.
Reverification and recounting, in case of students who passed the exam, would be done as per prevailing norms.
Rao directed that the process of recounting and reverification should be completed as early as possible. It should be followed up with conducting the advanced supplementary exams so that the academic year is not lost.
The advanced supplementary exam should be conducted and results declared at the earliest as students will have to appear for competitive exams like NEET and JEE, Rao said.
He asked officials to evolve a strategy for smooth conduct of exams and evaluation without any problems infuture.
Expressing grief over the alleged suicides of some students who failed in the examination, Rao appealed to the students not to take the extreme step as failing in exam does not amount to failing in life.
"This year 9.74 lakh of students appeared for the Intermediate exam. Out of these, 3.28 lakh failed," he said.
"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," he said.
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 best practices elsewhere in the country needs to be studied for implementation in Telangana, he said.
Rao also enquired about the identification of outsourcing agencies and their ability to process data of intermediate students and declaration of results.
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 release said.
The capacity of the outsourcing agencies who submitted tenders was assessed by technology experts and everything was done as per norms and procedures,officials said.
State education department secretary B Janardhan Reddy told reporters that the government would take measures, including holding discussions with educational institutions and civil society, to put an end to suicides by students.
According to him, 55,000 students have already applied for reverification and recounting 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, he said.
Meanwhile, protests by opposition parties and the students' organisations continued Wednesday.
Attempts by Students' Federation of India to stage a sit-in before Pragathi Bhavan, the official residence complex-cum-camp office of the Chief Minister as part of the protest call were foiled and 24 members were taken into 'preventive' custody, a police official told PTI.
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.
The state government has constituted a three-member committee to look into the allegations of irregularities in the declaration of the results.
The exams were conducted during February and March this year and the results were announced on April 18.
Many students and parents have been agitating against the TSBIE alleging goof-up in the paper valuation.
Since Saturday last, they have been demanding a thorough reverification of papers of those who had failed.
Some parents said their children are meritorious and expressed shock that they failed or had scored very less marks.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)