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Monkey business at exam centre

K.V. Subramanya
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Disturbance: Students said their attention was often distracted by the din created by the movement of vehicles and people on the college premises and the adjoining road.
Disturbance: Students said their attention was often distracted by the din created by the movement of vehicles and people on the college premises and the adjoining road.

Braving inclement weather and, chasing away a group of monkeys that kept troubling them constantly, hundreds of students sat in the open and wrote their first year degree examination at the Government First Grade College here on Thursday.

As the college lacked adequate rooms to accommodate 2,600 students of B.A. B.Com, B.Sc and BBM, who appeared for the English paper, hundreds of them were made to sit under a “shamiyana” that was put up on the waterlogged college grounds.

Besides, around 150 students were accommodated in the corridors and an equal number of them in the dingy and dilapidated Botany and Chemistry laboratories.

The makeshift examination halls were furnished with oil-stained, muddy and rusted dining tables with uneven surface and plastic chairs, which were hired from “shamiyana” suppliers.

The woes of the students, as well as the authorities, were further compounded as the college was supplied around 500 question papers less than its requirement, by Bangalore University.

Rajeshwari, a B.A. student, told The Hindu that the monkeys kept jumping from table to table as they were sitting under the “shamiyana” writing the exam. Two goats were seen grazing at the periphery of the “shamiyana”.

When contacted, the College Principal B.V. Krishnappa admitted that monkeys had created a problem at the “open-air examination hall”. According to Gopalakrishna, a B.A. student, their attention was often distracted by the din created by the frequent movement of vehicles and people on the college premises and the adjoining M.G. Road.

College authorities said there was a shortage of around 500 question papers as they had not submitted the proper indent to Bangalore University. Thus question papers were photocopied at the college and given to students.

Although the three-hour duration examination was scheduled to end at 12.30 p.m., several students were seen writing answers even at 1.15 p.m. as those who got the question papers late were given additional time.

Keshava, a B.Com student, said he was very tense while writing the examination as he was accommodated in the old Botany laboratory, which has developed huge cracks and has been weakened by the last week's heavy rain. “It was fully dark inside and I had to hold the question paper close to my eyes to read the questions. Besides, it was too sultry there,” said Manohar, who wrote the exam in the Physics laboratory.

Incidentally, Minister for Higher Education V.S. Acharya, who had visited the college on November 2, had expressed shock over the condition of the laboratory buildings that are on the verge of a collapse.

Students write their first year degree examination in the company of simians

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