THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel has courted controversy after personally intervening in securing pass marks for a student who failed in BTech examination, conducted by APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU). The minister, who is also the pro-chancellor of KTU, intervened on behalf of the student during an adalat conducted at the varsity for disposal of pending files.
R S Sasikumar and M Shajarkhan of Save University Campaign Committee have taken up the matter with the Governor, who is the chancellor of state universities. In a petition to the Governor, they pointed out that the minister’s intervention constituted a gross violation of examination rules and regulations of KTU, and demanded the annulment of the decision taken at the adalat.
The student, who was pursuing his sixth semester BTech course at TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, could not secure a pass grade during normal evaluation of his answer sheets. Even after reevaluation, the student failed. The principal reportedly wrote to KTU demanding the student’s answer scripts be valued again, but the varsity rejected it.
Despite the matter being closed by KTU on February 23, Jaleel summoned the particular case file during the adalat held on February 27. In the adalat, a decision was taken to further evaluate the answer paper of the student. Accordingly, the answer sheets were reevaluated and the student was given sufficient marks to declare him as passed.
“The action of the Pro-Chancellor (Jaleel) to facilitate pass marks for a candidate, who had failed in the examination, is a naked abuse of his power as minister,” the petition to the Governor said.
According to Sasikumar, atleast half of the 100 candidates, who wrote the sixth semester BTech exam along with the student, failed to secure pass marks even after reevaluation. “All these candidates had to take the supplementary examination barring this student, in whose case Jaleel intervened.
If it is humanitarian consideration, as the minister claims, why is it applicable only for one student?,” he asked. Sources in KTU said the minister’s intervention was aimed at avoiding supplementary examination for the student, which is one of the prerequisites to secure a BTech Honours degree, awarded by the varsity.
After the matter turned controversial, Jaleel clarified that the decision to go in for a third valuation was taken after seeking the opinion of academic experts “The student, who was declared failed for the particular paper managed to get 48 marks in the third evaluation. He also went on to secure fifth rank in the BTech exam and became eligible for BTech Honours degree,” Jaleel said in a Facebook post