In order to curb the malicious practices undertaken by students to secure first rank in the Bihar Board examinations, the Board authorities have decided to do away with the first rank in the ranking system. In the light of the recent incidents where ‘toppers’ Rubi Rai and Ganesh Kumar resorted to illegal practices to secure top ranks, the Board, identifying the pattern, has introduced a new ranking system where the board exam ranks will start from number two.
A top board authority, at the request of anonymity, told us, “We have tried to control the cheating processes used by students to secure more marks in the board exams. We also caught a few cheaters but they bribed us and escaped punitive actions.” When we asked them why they accepted bribes, he said, “If we don’t accept the money issued by the RBI, it amounts to sedition. Hence, we had no other option but to take the money they paid us to secure top rank.”
The Board’s decision was highly criticised by students and their parents. Students who were confident that their rich parents would help them secure the top rank staged massive protests in many parts of Bihar to oppose the Board’s decision. An aggrieved student, who took part in the protest, posed an ethical question to the government: if the State government comes up with a new rule every day to suit their agenda, what is the difference between them and the government at the Centre?
Backing the highly competitive ranking system, Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, said, “Until now, it was just a cut-throat competing amongst the students to cheat during the exams. With the introduction of a new ranking system, even the parents will be competing to offer bribes and ensure that their wards secure the second rank. If this is not called overall development, ask Modi ji, what else is?