A 44-year-old man has moved the Madras High Court bench here seeking a direction to the State School Education Department to provide grace marks for the students who wrote the Mathematics paper in the recently conducted class XII board exams.

K.R. Ramalingam, in his public interest litigation, contended that the question paper for Mathematics, held on March 14 in Tamil Nadu, was not set according to the blueprint provided by the Books Committee.

As per the blueprint, the question paper was supposed to provide equal weight to test the knowledge, application, skill and understanding of the students.

But most of the questions in the paper only tested the skills of the students, he claimed.

Part B of the question paper had 15 questions out of which 10 had to be answered. Each question carried six marks.

Against the blueprint which required only one question to test the skills of the students, ten questions were framed to test the skills, he pointed out. Similarly in Part C (10 mark questions), 8 out of the 15 questions tested the skills of the students, while the blueprint requires only 3 questions under the category, he argued through his counsel T. Lajapathi Roy.

Most of the students from the government schools and schools from the rural areas found the question paper difficult because the paper was not set as per the blueprint, Mr Ramalingam claimed. He further listed three incidents, where students attempted suicide because they could not fare well in the Mathematics exam.

V. Ishwarya, a student of Shristi Higher Secondary School in Vellore, committed suicide only because of the Mathematics question paper, he claimed.

Mr Ramalingam prayed in his petition that a high level committee comprising senior post graduate teachers should be constituted, in order to analyse the question paper and provide grace marks for the students.

A division bench comprising Justices Chitra Venkataraman and S. Vimala is expected to hear the case on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the bench directed the government advocate to get instructions from the department of school education and report on Wednesday.

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