Osmania University fire mishap: Probe says water used to douse fire worsened the situation

A revised time table will be circulated shortly to the colleges and to be displayed on the University website.

Published: 12th June 2018 08:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2018 08:00 PM   |  A+A-

A view of Arts College of Osmania University in Hyderabad.|Express Photo.

Osmania University in Hyderabad.|Express Photo.

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Almost seven days after the fire mishap in the Osmania University premises, where unevaluated examination papers were damaged, an inquiry report about the accident was released on Tuesday.

It was found that nine per cent of the scripts of the total 87 thousand odd BSc answer scripts, both regular and backlog examinations which were kept in the coding room were damaged. The rest were partially damaged. The committee that probed into the incident recommended that B.Sc examination in certain select subjects should be conducted in the last week of June.

A revised time table will be circulated shortly to the colleges and to be displayed on the University website. It further suggested an overhaul of infrastructure, safety and security measures at the spot evaluation centre to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

The fire broke out in the early hours of June 5, and the cause of the fire accident was attributed to a spark from an electric meter box by the fire department on the day of the incident.

The Committee, which was constituted to look into the cause revealed in the report that the damage was partially due to fire and more due to water used to douse the fire by the staff. The water further made the scripts illegible for valuation.

To ensure that students maintain continuity in academics, the Committee recommended that the exams should be re-conducted and all students, except those booked for malpractices were asked to reappear. However, they need not pay any exam fee and can take the exam at the same centres with the hall tickets issued earlier. Suggested measures to prevent further incidents.

The committee suggested that there should be better safety and security measures at the spot valuation centres and periodic check ups should be conducted on electrical devices. They also suggested the construction of a new building for counting and coding work, replacing the conventional coding system with a bar coding system and posting qualified technical personnel to man the centre.

The University has a record of conducting exams each year for over 1000 subjects involving 16 lakh students. The process involves confidential work of coding, evaluation, tabulation and announcement of results. The university is also planning to switch over to online evaluation in a phased manner, said the report.

The coding room had the BSc answer scripts of affiliated and constituent colleges of Zoology, Botany, Physics and Mathematics. The University also appealed to students not to believe in rumours from those with vested interests and that it regrets the inconvenience caused. It reiterated that the University will take all the necessary steps to ensure that the students are not put to any hardships while reappearing for the exams.

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