Grace marks issue:UDF stages walkout in Kerala assembly
The Congress-led UDF opposition in Kerala on Thursday staged a walkout in the Assembly after the Speaker refused to allow notice for an adjournment motion, seeking resignation of minister K T Jaleel over allegations of awarding grace marks to engineering students of Mahatma Gandhi University. Congress MLA V D Satheeshan, who moved the notice, alleged that the minister's staff used to take part in the adalats organised by the universities and the minister granted marks even without asking.
However, Jaleel, who is handling the higher education portfolio, insisted that neither he nor his staff had any role in the award of marks for the students. He challenged the opposition, saying he will retire from public life if they could prove the charges in court.
"If you have any allegations, approach the court. If you can prove that I have done anything wrong, I will put an end to my social and public life," Jaleel said. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala demanded Jaleel's sacking from the ministry for his alleged repeated interference in administrative and academic matters of universities.
The minister said the decision to award five marks as moderation, was taken by the MG University syndicate and his office had no role in that. However, Jaleel accepted the fact that he had directed academicians to conduct revaluation of an answer sheet of a student of the Kerala Technical University and said it was "morally the right thing to do".
"He told me that he would have passed the exam had his paper been valued properly. He had around 90 per cent marks in all subjects. So I gave the answer sheet to some academicians who were there at the adalat. Their preliminary assessment was that it deserved a third valuation," Jaleel told the House.
Jaleel said after the revaluation, the student got the fifth rank. "He got it on merit," Jaleel said, adding that the student was the son of a Devaswom Board sweeper.
The board administers temples in the state. Jaleel also said the student's future would have been affected due to the negligence of certain teachers who initially valued the paper and the university has initiated a probe into the matter..
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