AG Perarivalan, on death row in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has topped a diploma examination and earned a gold medal, the Tamil Nadu prison department said in a statement Thursday.
Perarivalan, inmate number 13096 of Vellore central jail, aced the Desk Top Publishing Operator course, a vocational training programme, offered by the prison department in collaboration with the Mahatma Gandhi Community College and TN Open University.
All but 10 of the 185 prisoners who appeared for the exams spanning diverse courses in January were successful.
Perarivalan, 40, has excelled in academics in jail, where he has already spent more than 20 years.
He has earned a master’s degree in computer applications as well as a diploma in electronics and communications from behind bars.
His MCA project was on e-governance in prison management. Passionate about writing, Perarivalan teaches at the prison school and also tries his hand at western music.
On death row along with Murugan and Sathan after being convicted in the assassination case of the former prime minister, Perarivalan hopes to pursue an MPhil in electronics and communications.
Their mercy petitions were turned down in 2011 by then president Pratibha Patil.
They have challenged the decision in the Supreme Court on the grounds that there was inordinate delay in processing of their mercy pleas.