One distraught girl set herself on fire at home after she failed her biology test
"The State Education Ministry, the Board and the government initially dismissed the allegations but later gave in to the growing protests. The aggrieved students have also approached the High Court
At least 20 students have killed themselves this week after failing a set of exams which have been shrouded in controversy, the National Human Rights Commission of India has said.
Almost a million youngsters sat the exams in India over February and March, with results saying more than a third failed.
Discrepancies in the marking process have seen parents, political parties and students calling on the papers to be re-tested.
One distraught girl set herself on fire at home after she failed her biology test, the Khaleej Times reported.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has called on students not to commit suicide, adding that the results did not mean the end of their lives.
He promised that papers would be recounted and reverified.
Some parents believe the students committed suicide because of an error on the part of the software solutions firm, Globarena Technologies Private Limited, which had been hired to mark the tests.
On Friday, the National Human Rights Commission of India issued a notice to the Telangana government, seeking a detailed report from the Board Intermediate Education.
A NHRC statement read: "According to the media reports, hundreds of students have failed to get even pass marks.
"The State Education Ministry, the Board and the government initially dismissed the allegations but later gave in to the growing protests. The aggrieved students have also approached the High Court.
"It has observed that the contents of the news reports, if true, raise the issues of serious lapse on the part of the authorities amounting to violation of human rights.
"Thorough probe into the matter is required not only to punish the guilty but to ensure that such sorrowful incidents do not recur in future.
"Reportedly, role of a private company has come to the notice who has been given the contract for processing the results.
"This work was being done earlier by the “Centre for Good Governance” which is a government agency.
"The Hyderabad-based private firm Globarena Technologies, who has executed the work, is reportedly not competent enough to take up the job.
The firm has however contended that it is capable of handling the task and that it had executed the contract "systematically".
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