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20 Students Commit Suicide After Faulty Exam Results

Errors will be rectified, but too late for some in India's Telangana state
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2019 7:51 AM CDT
Answer sheets are being reexamined.   (Getty Images/sasirin pamai)

(Newser) – Since April 18, student suicides have been a daily occurrence in India's Telangana state. On that day came results of a state examination taken by almost 1 million 12th graders, per Fox News, and nearly 350,000 failed—supposedly. An independent panel has since found the software developed by outside firm Globarena, commissioned by the state Board of Intermediate Education to process exam results, was faulty. Many students said they sat for the exam on which most university admissions are based but were marked absent, received zero marks in sections they'd completed, or otherwise failed as a result of incorrect marks, per CNN. After failing zoology, a 17-year-old girl set herself on fire in Narayanpet district on Saturday, reports the Khaleej Times. She's one of more than 20 to die by suicide since April 18, per the Telegraph.

"People should not resort to such kind of extreme steps," says a senior police official, noting exam errors "can be checked and rectified." But he adds getting the message out is difficult since "all these people are spread over a large area." Telangana's Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has ordered that all failures be reexamined. One student who failed a subject reportedly received 93% after such a review, per the Telegraph. Yet the outlet points to larger issues: a booming population, the highest unemployment rates in 45 years, and university acceptance rates below that of Harvard. CNN likewise highlights intense pressure on Indian students, noting parents climbed school buildings to pass cheat sheets to 10th graders in Bihar state in 2015. (Read more India stories.)

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