Chastened PESIT eases students' pressure

The college has agreed to refund the complete tuition, hostel, and other fees paid by Pranay over the last one-and-a-half year, Prof D Jawahar, CEO, PES Institutions, told Deccan Herald. 

Pranay’s close friend, who also hails from Patna, said that their negotiations with the college management on Wednesday were successful.

The institute has accepted a number of demands put forth by the students. Pranay’s two sisters who landed in the City after his suicide wanted the college to apologise for its “messy” handling of the affair, the victim’s friend said, preferring anonymity.

The college has apologised for the description of Pranay as “weak-hearted” by Prof M R Doreswamy, Founder and Chairman, PES Institutions. It rubbished the reports that Pranay was a “drug addict, had a love affair, and was incapable of handling the pressure of studying engineering.”

Prof Jawahar sought to clear the air on the treatment of Pranay’s body and reiterated that they only followed instructions from the police. He denied that the college pressured Pranay for better academic performance. He said that the “whole confusion” on Pranay’s record cropped up because the college’s software issued poor remarks on bad performance.

“Pranay’s performance was less than 10 out of 25. Hence, the software described him a weak student. But the remark is directed at all poor performers in their progress reports,” Prof Jawahar said.

The PESIT will impress upon the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) to drop the minimum marks criterion (20 out of 50 in each subject) in the Continuous Internal Evaluation (CIE) for students of autonomous colleges to be eligible to write the semester examination. Instead, it will suggest the clubbing of marks of the CIE and the Semester Evaluation Examination (SEE) to award the scores, Prof Jawahar said.

The institute will also abolish awarding five per cent marks in the CIE based on a student’s attendance. That is, students will now have to earn those marks through their performance. Since VTU has made 85 per cent attendance compulsory, students get the five marks by default, he said. 

Beginning next semester, the college will conduct three tests, instead of two, to judge the students’ academic performance. Besides, it has decided to appoint a full-time professional student counsellor, a medical practitioner to be available to students for at least three hours daily, and informal student groups to address academic and welfare measures.

Meanwhile, Pranay’s body was flown to Patna and his last rites were performed. Two students — Harekrishna Murari and Sourav Gosain — and two institutional representatives were sent.

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