PATNA: Controversies surrounding the low pass percentage of 35 in this year’s Class XII examinations in Bihar turned the focus on the arts stream topper on Thursday, pointing at a likelihood of a scam like last year.
Ganesh Kumar, the unlikely 24-year-old from neighbouring Jharkhand whose high marks in music helped him become the State topper in the arts stream, was found unable to answer basic questions on music posed by the media. There was no explanation on why and how he studied as a regular student at a private college with poor infrastructure in Bihar’s Samastipur district, which is about 250 km away from his home in Jharkhand’s Giridih district.
On a day when students protested across Bihar for the second consecutive day, Ganesh Kumar left everyone shocked by his poor knowledge of music. When asked to name classical music gharanas, he answered: “Pandit Ravi Shankar, Hari Shankar Chaurasia, etc”. He scored 65 out of 70 marks in music practicals, and yet he said he does not know the difference between prose and poetry. When asked to name a song that was part of his practical lessons, he cited “Jab dil na lage dildar humari gali aa jana,” a song from the film Coolie No 1. His answers revived memories of last year’s fake State topper, Ruby Rai, who had uttered political science, one of her main subjects in which she had scored 91 out of 100 marks, as “prodigal science” and said it was about “cooking”.
Admission form does not have date of admission
Although both the private college management and Ganesh Kumar claim he was a regular student there, his admission form does not have his date of admission. There is also no mention of his present address in Samastipur in the admission form. He scored 82.6 per cent aggregate, with 92 per cent in Hindi, 82 per cent in music and 42 per cent in social science.