A candidate from Midnapore appearing for the entrance test of the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) was shocked to find his admit card sporting the photo of a dog.
Eighteen-year-old Soumyadip Mahato’s woes did not end there – he earned the wrath of the minister in-charge of technical education, who believes the student intentionally submitted a dog’s photo to malign the government.
If the test scheduled for Sunday was not cancelled after the question papers were leaked, Mahato would possibly have had to give it a miss.
Mahato, who belongs to an impoverished family living in the former Maoist stronghold of Jirapara, spotted the photo of the dog when he downloaded the admit card for the ITI entrance test from the official website on Friday. His address and other details on the card were correct.
Soumyadip Mahato spotted the photo of the dog when he downloaded the admit card for the ITI entrance test from the official website. (Samir Mondal/ HT Photo)
The son of a daily wage labourer, Mahato worked at a cycle garage to continue his studies and passed the higher secondary examination with 71.4% marks. He wanted to undergo vocational training and applied for admission at the Rangamati ITI in West Midnapore district.
"I was really worried whether I would be able to appear in the exams. I am a bit relieved after the nodal officer has assured me. I have no idea whose fault resulted in this but I have definitely become a laughing stock in my neighbourhood," he said.
But West Bengal’s technical education and training minister Ujwal Biswas sought to blame Mahato for the incident. He said none of the 133,000 students appearing for the common entrance test for vocational training had any problems.
"The agency in-charge of online registration has informed me that the boy himself had submitted a dog’s photo during registering online," Biswas said.
"This was done with the evil intention of maligning the government. We are examining option to take action against him," he said. "Even if the boy didn’t do it by himself, the cyber café from where he uploaded the photo must be behind it."
The minister’s reaction left many baffled.
However, the nodal officer for the examination in West Midnapore district, Prasanta Kumar Adhikary, said there will be no problem for Mahato to appear in the test that has been rescheduled for July 5.