Bihar has found itself in the midst of yet another topper's scam, as police on Friday arrested this year's Class XII arts topper Ganesh Kumar for allegedly forging his date of birth on the official papers. Kumar, who topped the 2017 Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) results, turned out to be a 41-year-old father of two. He had claimed to be 24 years old on his documents.
The state had seen a topper's scam last year, when students who had excelled in the Class XII science and arts examinations could not answer the simplest of questions.
Patna Kotwali DSP Shivli Nomani confirmed Kumar's arrest to the media, and said that he had been taken into custody for forging his date of birth. "He appeared this evening before the state board and the board handed him over to us," Nomani said.
Kumar secured 82.6 percent in the Class XII examinations of the BSEB board, the results of which were announced last Tuesday. Nearly 64.75 percent students failed the examination this year, marking the worst results for BSEB in two decades. Reports state that only 30.11 percent science students and 37.11 percent arts students passed in the examinations, while the pass percentage for the commerce stream was 73.76.
Kumar also released a statement saying, "I have faith in the law, don't want to say anything else," according to IANS.
BSEB, earlier on Friday, said that it had put a hold on the result of its arts topper Ganesh Kumar.
"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," BSEB chairperson Anand Kishor said, according to Indian Express reports.
Kishor added that Kumar took the Class X examination again in 2015 and secured a first division, but he mentioned his date of birth as June 2 1993.
Kumar came under scanner when he said he was 24 years old even though most students who take Class XII exams are in the 17-18 years age group. Further foul play was suspected after he secured 65 out of 70 marks in his music practical, but when he was later asked to perform on a harmonium, he seemed to struggle with it.
"We traced records of the board of undivided Bihar and matched his father's name and permanent address," BSEB spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan Dwivedi said.
Last year's Bihar topper scam came into light when arts and science stream topper Ruby Rai had called Political Science "Prodigal Science" and said that it was a subject that taught cooking. She was given a second chance to face experts in June 2016. Another topper Saurabh Shrestha could not respond to basic questions related to their subject in an interview with a journalist.
An investigation was launched into the scam after which Bacha Rai, the alleged mastermind behind the scam, was arrested. The probe revealed that Rai played an important role in the scam with the help of the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB). Ruby Rai, who is the secretary-cum-principal's relative, was also arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up for the probe.