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Assam prisoner tops open varsity exam

August 26, 2018 10:27 pm | Updated 10:27 pm IST - GUWAHATI

A life prisoner at the Mangaldoi District Jail in north-central Assam has topped the equivalent of Class 12 exam conducted by a State-based open university this year.

Six of his fellow prisoners also came out with flying colours making a success rate of 100% for the jail that has set a benchmark in the State for efforts to reform its inmates.

The Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University (KKHSOU) conducts the Bachelor Preparatory Programme, a course equivalent to Class 12 exam, annually. This year’s results were declared on August 24.

The university’s spokesperson Bipul Das said 1,717 of the total 3,074 candidates who appeared for the exam from 174 study centres across the State were successful this time. The success rate was 55.87%.

One of the study centres was in Darrang district’s Mangaldoi jail, about 75 km. northeast of Guwahati.

“This year’s topper is 32-year-old Arupjyoti Deka, serving a life term for murder. He secured 80.33% and letter marks (80 or more out of 100) in Economics, Sociology, Political Science, and English,” jail superintendent Munindra Nath Sarma told The Hindu .

Mr. Deka, in jail since 2012 after being convicted for murder, works as the jail’s librarian besides compiling an Assamese monthly wall magazine titled Karalipi (meaning jail script in Assamese) for poems, essays and fiction penned by the prisoners. The literary endeavour, published as an annual magazine since 2016, has been praised by authors and poets in Assam for its quality content.

Mr. Deka is not the only prisoner among KKHSOU’s top 10. Dhrubajyoti Hazarika, with 73%, and Ilias Purti with 71% secured the sixth and 10th positions.

The other four fared well too by securing more than the average 57% by the 1,717 who passed the programme.

Mr. Deka said: “The ambience is so healthy that we can study for hours and hone our skills that could ensure us a source of income later in life.”

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