The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday put a stay on the prestigious National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) stage-2 for students studying in Class 10, to be conducted by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on May 11 (Sunday).
The order came from the court headed by justice GS Sandhawalia after going through a shocking report from Surina Rajan, principal secretary, Haryana school education department, confirming the use of unfair means in the stage-1 examination, wherein 46 students out of the 99 who qualified from the entire state belonged to one school, Yadhuvanshi Shiksha Niketan School, having branches in Mahendergarh and Narnaul.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Arundhati Dixit and six other students of Gurgaon through advocate Sameer Sachdeva.
The court order, received at 10pm on Friday, read, “It is in such compelling circumstances that the direction is issued to NCERT to postpone the NTSE stage-2, which is to be held on May 11 all over the country, subject to the final decision of the present writ petition.”
Justice Sandhawalia also ordered, “It would also be appropriate that the necessary intimation be made in the press at the earliest so that the candidates are not put to any inconvenience.”
Education secy’s report
“It is beyond imagination statistically that 46 students out of 99 total qualified students in the entire state belong to one school… This is fortified from the fact that in room number 15, 16 and 19 of the centre situated in Saini Senior Secondary School, Narnaul (Mahendergarh), out of 48 students of the said Yadhuvanshi Shiksha Niketan School of Mahendergarh and Narnaul town sitting therein, 37 students have qualified the said state-1 examination,” submitted Rajan.
The report further read, “This would be possible only, as a consequence of copying or using unfair means etc., in the absence of proper supervision at the level of SCERT authorities.
Neither have they utilised the services of the district administration nor were the district education officer(s) and district elementary education officer(s) directed to sit in the examination centre throughout the period of the examination.”
The stage-1 examination is conducted by the state concerned in conformity with the guidelines issued by the NCERT and the stage-2 examination is conducted by the NCERT itself.
The stage-1 examination in Haryana was conducted on November 17, 2013, by the State Council of Education Research And Training (SCERT), Gurgaon. A total of the 15,737 students appeared against the quota of 85 students allocated to the state.
However, in view of the tie of marks, 99 students were declared qualified by SCERT on February 18 this year.
Now, these 99 students were to sit in the stage-2 examination to be conducted by NCERT on May 11.
The petitioners had sought an inquiry into the result of the stage-1 examination, submitting that Yadhuvanshi Shiksha Niketan gave a newspaper advertisement on February 19 about their ‘tremendous’ achievement of bagging 46 seats in Stage-1.
Students who appeared in the exam, their parents and also the faculty of many schools around the state were in a state of disbelief and shock as to how only two or three institutes produced 76 toppers out of 85 seats in the whole state and out of that, 53 students belong to Mahendergarh district.
The case has now been posted for the next hearing on May 26.