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Strike by Govt. Siddha Medical College students

Staff Reporter

Demand for withdrawal of results of BSMS exams



PROTEST: Students of Government Siddha Medical College, Tirunelveli, staging a dharna on Wednesday. — Photo: A. Shaikmohideen.

TIRUNELVELI: Over 300 students, including 175 girls, of Government Siddha Medical College, Tirunelveli, went on token strike on Wednesday, "condemning the manner in which their answer scripts were valued and demanding withdrawal of recently declared results of BSMS examinations held in August."

The students, holding posters aloft, also staged a dharna inside the college till evening pressing their demands.

Describing the results declared on October 25 last as the "worst" in the annals of siddha medical education of Tamil Nadu, the students alleged that the MGR Medical University, which is controlling the medical institutions across the State, had roped in "incompetent and inexperienced faculty members of recently started private siddha medical colleges for evaluation of their answer scripts, which was the main reason for this problem."

"As per the norms prescribed by the university, faculty members having a minimum of five years of teaching experience alone should be invited for valuation of papers. However, some of our seniors, who passed out recently and joined private siddha medical colleges as faculty members, have valued our papers. Consequently, more than 50 per cent of the students in each year have failed in this examination," said N. Karikalan, chairman of students' union.

Moreover, the meeting of the Moderation Board, which would be usually convened prior to publishing of results, was not held this year. This board, comprising the representatives of MGR Medical University and principals of the government and private siddha medical college as its members, reportedly awards "grace marks" ranging from 3 to 5 marks to the students in the "border" so that some more students could pass the examinations.

"Had the Moderation Board met this time and awarded grace marks, more than 50 per cent of the students, who have failed now, would have passed," Mr. Karikalan said.

Most of the faculty members of Government Siddha Medical College, Tirunelveli, agree that the demands of the students "are genuine."

The Principal, R. Dinakaran, also admitted that the decision against holding the Moderation Board meeting had an adverse impact on the results.

After sending faxes to higher-ups, the students are now planning to intensify their stir.

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