Following reports of mass copying, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday quashed the stage-1 result of the prestigious National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) announced on February 20 for 85 Haryana quota seats.
The court has directed the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT), Haryana, to re-conduct the examination on August 24.
Justice GS Sandhawalia also directed the SCERT to declare its result within two weeks after conduct of the stage-1 exam and to ensure that candidates did not resort to unfair means.
The high court, on May 9, had directed the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) to postpone the stage-2 examination scheduled for May 11 all over the country. After that the stage-2 examination date is yet to be declared by the NCERT. As many as 4,500 Class-10 students across the country are eligible to appear in the stage-2.
The court was compelled to pass the order after Surina Rajan, principal secretary, Haryana school education department, had confirmed mass copying in the stage-1 examination at an examination centre, Saini Senior Secondary School, Narnaul (Mahendergarh).
As many as 46 students, out of total 99, who qualified from Haryana, belonged to one institution namely Yadhuvanshi Shiksha Niketan School having two branches in Mahendergarh and Narnaul. All these 46 students had appeared in the exam at the Saini Senior Secondary School centre.
Justice Sandhawalia also directed the state to make the necessary intimation with regard to the re-conduct of examination in the press. The court said the state government authorities should also keep in mind the suggestions given by Rajan in her report, “regarding the sitting arrangement and having different sets of question papers… students from one institution will be seated in such a manner that they do not constitute a majority in the same room, in order to ensure that there is no resorting to unfair means.”
Every year, the NTSE is held in two stages to identify talented students in Class 10, who are awarded scholarship of Rs. 500 per month till completion of their professional courses in the fields of medicine and engineering.
The stage-1 of the NTSE is conducted by respective state/ union territory and qualified candidates, as per the state quota (based on student enrolment in classes 9 and 10), appear in the stage-2 examination conducted by the NCERT.
On November 17, 2013, in stage1 exam conducted by the SCERT, 15,737 students had appeared for 85 Haryana quota seats.