A year after the Bihar toppers’ scam saw those who had topped the Class XII science and arts examinations unable to answer simple questions, the state was rocked by another scandal Friday when police arrested this year’s Class XII arts topper for allegedly forging his date of birth — Ganesh Kumar, the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) said, turned out to be a 41-year-old, and not the 24-year-old he claimed to be.
Confirming that Ganesh Kumar had been arrested for forging his date of birth, Patna Kotwali DSP Shivli Nomani said: “He appeared this evening before the state board and the board handed him over to us.”
Ganesh Kumar secured 82.6 per cent in the Class XII exams. Around 64.75 per cent students failed the examinations this year — the worst BSEB result in two decades. In results declared last Tuesday, only 30.11 per cent science students and 37.11 per cent arts students passed. The commerce stream pass percentage was 73.76.
Earlier Friday, the BSEB said it had put on hold the result of its arts topper. BSEB chairperson Anand Kishor said: “We went through the board’s old records and found that Ganesh Kumar had appeared in the matriculation examination in 1990 from Giridih and in 1992 from Jhumri Tilaiya and secured a second division both times. He had mentioned his date of birth in the admit card as November 7, 1975.”
Kishor said Ganesh, who hails from Giridih in Jharkhand, took the Class X examination again in 2015 and secured a first division but mentioned his date of birth as June 2, 1993.
Ganesh Kumar came under the scanner for three reasons after the Class XII results were declared — he said he was 24 years old though most students who take the exam are in the 17-18 age group; he came all the way from Giridih to write his examination from a school in Samastipur school; and, though he secured 65 out of 70 marks in the music practical, his performance with a harmonium later before the media raised doubts.
BSEB spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan Dwivedi said: “We traced records of the board of undivided Bihar and matched his father’s name and permanent address.”
In 2016, the toppers’ scam hit the headlines after it was found that the science and arts toppers could not answer simple questions. The then BSEB chairperson was among those arrested for tampering with the evaluation process.