On April 18th, the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education exams results were announced. Soon after, it was revealed that 3 lakh of the nearly 10 lakh students who had appeared for the examinations had failed the exams. Over 100 students were also declared absent even though they appeared for the exams. Since the results were announced, 20 students have killed themselves, allegedly dejected with the marks they received.
However, student organisations, parents, and opposition parties laying the blame on the Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) led government. Shocked by the results, students and their parents alleged that the intermediate board is to blame. They claim that Globarena Technologies Pvt Ltd, the firm that was awarded the contract to do both data processing (admissions, centre allotment, etc) and result processing, committed errors which led to scores of students failing.
The incident has led to large scale protests in Telangana which have been ongoing for the past week. The government constituted a probe committee. The committee’s report which was released on April 29th pointed to major technical issues and a few human errors. For example: For nearly 500 students, “AP” (absent and present) was displayed instead of marks. For a few “AF” (absent and fail) was displayed, despite appearing for the exams. For more than 4,000 Economics students, single digit marks were displayed in their sheet.
For The Suno India Show, we spoke to Padmaja Shaw, an independent journalist and academician from Hyderabad about this fiasco. In this podcast, she said questions must also be raised about the deteriorating state of intermediate education in Telangana apart from the gross lapses in governance. In this podcast, she said how the culture of coaching classes, lack of proper infrastructure and high aspirations of parents too are contributing factors which is leading to student suicides.
Owing to massive pressure from all sides- K Chandrasekhar Rao, Chief Minister announced free revaluation of all the 3 lakh students’ papers. The Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) also has now finally agreed to rope in a new private software firm for the re-verification of results.