PATNA: Results of Bihar board's class-X examinations were finally declared on Tuesday, reporting that 68.89 per cent students passed as against 50.12 per cent last year, which brought some cheers in an atmosphere of gloom.
The results for 17.23 lakh students were to be announced on June 20, but Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) put off the announcement abruptly that day after learning that more than 42,000 evaluated answer sheets had gone missing. The answer sheets still remain traceless, raising concerns about the fate of applications seeking scrutiny of marks.
The top ten positions this year were shared by 23 students, and four girls from one school - Simultala Residential School in Jamui district - bagged the top three positions, said BSEB chairman Anand Kishor. Bihar education minister Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma formally released the results along with Kishor.
Prerna Raj became the state topper by securing 457 marks out of total 500 (91.4 per cent). Pragya and Shikha Kumari were the joint second toppers with 454 marks each. Anupriya Kumari was the third topper with 452 marks.
"I studied more than seven hours daily consistently for the past two years. I want to study science and then get into the banking sector," said Raj, a resident of Paliganj in Patna district. Her father, Lal Bahadur Singh, runs an ice-cream business and her mother, Santra Kumari, is a contractual schoolteacher.
Questions were raised on the standards of education in Bihar's government schools in the past two years as only 50.12 per cent of 17.5 lakh students passed class X in 2017 and 46.66 per cent of 15.4 lakh students passed in 2016.
Kishor said the examinations this year were conducted in a fairer manner with strict measures in place and that there was no leak of question papers. "Some changes in the pattern of questions were introduced, including 50 per cent objective questions, and OMR sheets were used. These were the main reasons for the improved results," he added. BSEB was so careful to prevent cheating in the examinations that the examinees were stopped from wearing shoes and socks in the exam centres across the state.
Applications for scrutiny of marks would be received from June 28, but BSEB would find the task difficult unless the more than 42,000 answer sheets that went missing from an evaluation centre at Gopalganj are found. A special investigation team (SIT) probing the case has arrested four people and raided several sites in the past few days, but failed to find the answer sheets. They were sold as scrap to a scrap dealer for Rs 8,500, police said earlier.