PATNA: Bihar cancelled the results of the topper and third rank holder of the state Class 12 examinations and scrapped the recognition of a college as authorities ordered a judicial probe into alleged academic irregularities on Saturday.
The Bihar state examination board (BSEB) said the two science stream students–first ranker Saurav Shresth and third place holder Rahul Kumar — didn’t perform well in a re-test ordered after television interviews of the toppers indicated they had little knowledge of the subjects they had supposedly aced.
Arts stream topper Ruby Ray —who sparked the controversy by claiming she was taught cooking in her political science classes — didn’t appear for the re-test citing ill health. The board threatened to scrap her result if she doesn’t appear for the re-test by June 11.
BSEB chairman Lalkeshwar Singh said the board struck down the recognition of Vaishali’s VR College, where both Ray and Shresth were enrolled. The board also ordered an inquiry under a retired high court judge into alleged irregularities, cautioning that more colleges could face action. Officials also said merit lists in all streams will be re-examined.
But the board decided to not re-evaluate the marking on the original answer sheets as it is not allowed to do so by law. Besides, authorities said they did not get reports of malpractice from the examination centres the toppers appeared from.
The controversy is a major embarrassment for the Bihar government and puts the spotlight on Bihar’s failing education system that is riddled with spurious colleges and examination rackets. Activists say colleges fix exam and evaluation centres and even hand out “tailor-made” answer books that ensure high scores.