School fell for teenager's prank because 'he was good with computers'

TO the teachers of Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 33 of Chandigarh, Harshit Sharma of Section B of Class XII (IT) looked the sort who would land a job in Google.

Published: 03rd August 2017 08:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd August 2017 08:40 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: TO the teachers of Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 33 of Chandigarh, Harshit Sharma of Section B of Class XII (IT) looked the sort who would land a job in Google.
Why not, when they were all rendered clueless and cashless during demonetization back in December, he had shown them how to use mobile apps and make online payments. His handwriting wasn’t great but he was good at making graphic posters on the computer.

He passed out in June but was back on campus 15 days ago with a box of sweets. He had landed a job in Google, he told the teachers he met, as a ‘graphic artist’ with a stipend of Rs 4 lakh per month during training and a salary of Rs 12 lakh per month thereafter.

Miss Deep Kiran who used to teach Harshit felt impelled to ask him how he had landed the job. “He told me he had applied to Google online and was selected. He told me would be leaving for US in the next few days,” she told the New Indian Express hardly able to hide embarrassment that the whole school and the entire Chandigarh administration had fallen for a schoolboy’s prank.

What clinched the issue was the ‘appointment certificate’ from Google that Harshit showed around (see pic). ‘To Whom It Concern’ it said, mimicking the syntax of government certificates, and therefore passing muster. It was rather a nice story, the kind principals like to pin up on notice boards and extol in the Assembly. So Harshit was rushed to the principal Indra Beniwal, who instructed her staff to quickly “bring the facts on record” so that it may be present to those on high.

“One of our teachers Menu prepared a detailed note which was submitted to me and I further sent it to the public relations officer and then the public relations department issued a press note,’’ said Ms Beniwal the day after Google’s humourless clarification — in regulation Communications language, that it has no record of offering such employment to any 16-year-old - brought the prank to light.

But it seems neither GMSS School nor the Chandigarh admin is taking this as a laughing matter. Ms Beniwal has been asked to submit a report to DPI (schools) and he has marked an inquiry into the matter.
When she learnt that she was pranked, Ms Beniwal called Harshit on his mobile, which was switched off. So she called his mother, a teacher herself, in Kurukshetra. Then she called his father, a college principal like herself.

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