On Saturday, humanities topper of Bihar Intermediate examinations, Ruby Rai was arrested in connection with the exam scam.
On the same day, her exam results were declared null as she was unable to answer questions by a panel of experts. A Patna court has also issued a non-bailable warrant against four toppers of the Intermediate exam.
But the rot runs deeper and this is not the first time that exams have become controversial in Bihar.
A year ago, photos of students being handed over answer chits by friends and family members, who climbed the wall of a school in Bihar had gone viral, leaving the authorities red faced. Also the education board of the state had to put up answer sheets of toppers online after a controversy broke out five years ago.
In light of this, the state government had promised to conduct a free and fair examination this year, but they have failed miserably.
Until now, 17 people have been arrested and the arrested have admitted that huge money is involved in the whole scam.
After the intermediate results were declared, India Today TV interviewed the toppers and asked basic questions and blew the lid of the scam.
Ruby said political science has something to do with - cooking - and pronounced it as ‘prodigal’ science, a subject for which she had secured 91/100!
After the video went viral, Bihar government ordered re-evaluation of papers of the 14 toppers of science, commerce and arts stream on June 3. Also, the results of the toppers were ordered to be withheld till the enquiry was complete.
Ruby’s was not a lone case.
The science stream topper, Saurabh, who had secured 485/500 couldn’t even answer basic questions regarding his subject.
Interestingly, Ruby and Saurabh are from the same college – VN Rai College, Hajipur in Vaishali. In the past also there were cases in Bihar of toppers being from the same institution.
But the present controversy raises a whole bunch of other questions too.
Since the news broke, around 27 employees of Bihar State Education Board have been suspended and over 300 have been transferred. But is transferring and suspension enough in the long run?
Why is the SIT arresting an underage student rather than going after the parents? A scam cannot happen without the consent of the parents and won’t they hold a better insight into the wrong doings?
The government should understand that it’s high time to give up fire fighting and look at permanent solutions to clean up the mess!