Patna: On camera, Ruby Rai, 17, who topped Bihar’s Class 12 exams in the Arts stream, says political science, a subject she virtually aced, teaches cooking. Another student from her junior or intermediate college , who placed as Bihar’s Science topper, was not able to answer elementary questions like the link between water and H20.
The students were interviewed by local channels after their results were declared last week. So the 10 toppers among the nearly 15 lakhs students in Bihar will now take a new exam within the next week, an embarrassed government has said. Education Minister Ashok Choudhary conceded that it appears that either proxies took the exam for the students, or that answer sheets submitted by students were replaced later with better ones.
More signs of cheating – the toppers are disproportionately distributed- most belong to the V N Rai College in Hajipur, just 20 km from the state capital of Patna.The minister admitted this points to signs of flourishing “education mafias” which organize everything a student needs from admissions to, well, assisted exam-taking.
Last year, photos of adults scaling the walls of an examination centre to pass cheat-sheets to Class 10 students made international headlines, triggering the introduction of new penalties for cheating including a six-year jail term for adults found guilty.