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Osmania University
Osmania University

Only 9% of B.Sc papers were damaged in OU fire incident: Committee

Hyderabad: Regretting the “apprehensions and uneasiness” among students due to the fire mishap at the Spot valuation centre, Osmania University, the Committee that probed the accident has found that a meager nine per cent scripts of the 87 thousand odd B.Sc scripts (Regular and Backlog) kept in coding room for coding purpose were damaged and remaining scripts partially damaged.

It recommended holding the B.Sc examination in certain select subjects in the last week of June 2018. Further, it suggested an overhaul of the infrastructure; security and safety measures at the spot valuation centre to pre empt any such accidents in future.

It may be recalled that fire broke out in the early hours on 5 June in a coding room and a major flare up was averted due to the efforts of the local staff and the fire officials who sprayed water and broke the ceiling to let out the fumes and smoke.

The committee, on closer scrutiny, inferred that the damage was partially due to the fire and more due to the water used to douse the fire. Water soaked more answer scripts making them illegible for valuation.

The coding room housed the BSc scripts of the affiliated and constituent colleges belonging to the second (regular & backlog), fourth semester (regular), first & third semesters only backlogs.

Specifically, the room had Zoology and Mathematics papers of first and third semester (backlog), Zoology, Botany, Physics and Mathematics of second and fourth semester (backlog and regular), and Zoology, Botany, Physics and Mathematics (Regular) exams of the fourth semester.

In order to help students to maintain continuity in progression of their academics, the Committee recommended that the exams should be re conducted in the Science subjects mentioned above.

All students, except those booked for malpractices, have to reappear for the semester exams as per the revised time table to be circulated shortly to the colleges and to be displayed on the University website.

Students need not pay any exam fee and can take the exams in the same centres with the same hall tickets issued earlier.

A series of measures have also been suggested to prevent recurrence of such mishaps and these include: augmenting the safety and security measures at the spot valuation centres, periodic checkup of the electrical safety devices, 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 regrets the inconvenience caused to students and appeals to them not to believe rumors by vested interests.

The University reiterates that it will take all the necessary steps to ensure that students’ interests are protected and they are not put to any hardships while reappearing for the exams.

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. (INN)

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