On April 18, the Telangana Board of Intermediate Education released results of Class 11 and 12 in which 3.82 lakh students (more than one third of the students) were failed out of total 9.74 lakh students who had appeared for the examination from across the state. Following this, a total of 20 students who had failed committed suicide due to their failure in the exam, while another three students committed suicide as they did not score marks according to their expectations.
Soon after, protests broke out among several student organisations, political parties and families of the failed students against the results.
Meanwhile, even as the controversy around the mass failing of students in the TSBIE examinations is still a hot topic, another controversy has erupted over the missing of supplementary question papers for the Intermediate Public Advanced Supplementary Examinations which were scheduled to be held on June 7. Two days before the exam, on Wednesday, June 5, the question papers of English, Mathematics and Zoology which were kept in two trunks at a police station in Warangal went missing. According to a report by Telangana Today, a total of 4,63,236 students had registered for the exam from both first year and second year. A complaint has been registered over the issue and an enquiry has begun, with Warangal ACP Narasaiah as the investigating officer. In a press statement on Wednesday, the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE), said, “The exams will be conducted as per schedule from June 7 with new sets of question papers.”
The continuing controversies around the TSBIE examinations raises serious questions on the operations of the examination department. It should be noted that the state government had given the contract for exam enrolment and processing of results to the private firm Globarena Technologies, a company which has a history of poor record of handling such projects. The previous year the contract was handled by the Centre for Good Governance, a government agency.
Also read: NHRC Issues Notice to Telangana Govt over Students’ Suicides and Discrepancies in Intermediate Exams
The aggrieved parents also moved court demanding the re-evaluation of the answersheets of the failed students, following which the High Court set May 27 as the last date for publishing the final results. As criticisms poured out from various sections of civil society against the state government with allegations of serious technical errors in the publishing of results, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced free re-verification of answer sheets of all failed students on April 24, while the matter was still being heard in court.
The Telangana State Technology Services has selected Data Tech MethodEx private limited for the re-verification results with Globarena Technologies. On May 27, when the re-verification results were published, the government claimed that there were no changes in the results of the 23 students who had ended their lives over their poor scores. And out of 3.82 lakh, only 1,137 students passed the exams following re-verification.
However, one student, Anamika Artula who had committed suicide for failing in Telugu was declared as passed following the publishing of the reverified results. Anamika, who had killed herself on April 18 after she failed the Telugu paper scoring only 20 marks, had cleared the subject scoring 48 marks after re-verification. The TSBIE claimed the case of Anamika as a “clerical mistake”. Local newspapers are reporting that the family of the student plans to file a complaint against the Telangana Intermediate Board.
The supplementary examination are scheduled to be held at 857 test centres across the state.
Also read: Students’ Suicide in Telangana: A Grim Picture of Academic System