Ganesh Kumar, who was declared the topper of the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) examination, 2017, seems to be a habitual offender and succeeded in befooling the board officials too, while registering for the exam.
After reports went viral questioning the educational and other credentials of Kumar, which led to a public outcry over 65% students failing the inter exams and the apparent contradictions in the toppers list, officials late evening on Friday decided to strike down his result after it was found that he had fudged his age.
He had showed his age as 24, whereas he was found to be 42.
BSEB sources said that Ganesh Kumar first appeared in matric (class 10) examinations in 1990 under the name of Ganesh Ram from CRSR High School, Giridih in undivided Bihar. “His actual date of birth has been mentioned as November 7, 1975,” the official said.
He completed his intermediate in 1992 from Jhumri Tilaya (now in Jharkhand).
Meanwhile, Kumar, the arrested Arts topper, went philosophical after his arrest. “Jane anjane mein galti ho jati hai (mistakes are committed inadvertently),” he said and sang Kishore Kumar’s famous song from movie ‘Kora Kagaz’, “mera jiwan kora kagaz kora hi rah gaya”, to show his love and knowledge of music.
During the course of interrogation on Saturday morning, Kumar is learnt to have told the police that he fudged his age to get a government job.
However, the officials at BSEB were not ready to accept that there was any doubt on his educational performance in examinations and over marks obtained by him.
“There is no doubt over his educational performance. We have carried out all types of verification. His marks have been verified and all his marks are justified,” said BSEB chairman Anand Kishor to a TV channel.
Officials said it was a tipoff from some sources on his age that set the ball rolling for action. Kumar was called to BSEB office and subsequently arrested. An FIR was registered on the basis of the statement of Bipin Kumar Singh, section officer of BSEB under sections 417/418/419/420/466/468/208 and 120b of IPC.
While the board officials said that action would be taken against the school and the principal over registering a fudged age, the entire episode has once again posed questions on the working of BSEB after it was rocked by inter results scam in 2016 and cheating scandals.
Last year’s arts topper Ruby Rai had landed in a controversy after it was found that she did not know what political science was. Rai and three other disgraced toppers of Bihar’s Class 12 exams were later arrested, resulting in the uncovering of an examination racket that fixed results in exchange for cash.
The board’s then chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, his wife, son-in-law, owners of some colleges and several others were found to have connived to manipulate results of undeserving students who paid lakhs to secure the first division. The economic offences wing of Bihar police has recommended a probe into money laundering to the enforcement directorate against the board’s ex-chairman Singh and others.