Brand Bihar: stocks plummeting?

The Great Bihar school examination board cheating story was knocked around a lot this week.

Briefly, hundreds, or even thousands of parents all over Bihar helped their offspring cheat in the Bihar Secondary board examinations while the administration shrugged indifferently.

Frankly speaking, this is India. As much as we hate to admit it, practising unfair means is almost a national phenomenon. In an election year the government goes soft towards students for obvious political reasons.

The Bihar Cheating Story

The Bihar Cheating Story

Here’s an interesting anecdote shared by an old timer.  In  JP’s ‘Total Revolution’ days of 1974-75 , when he gave the exam-boycott call,  the authorities tried to weaken the movement. Then, the state government allowed the’ open book’ system. Those keen to appear were ferried to the exam centres in police vans, fully protected. They were allowed to carry books and copy as much as they could from them. The objective was simple: to neutralize the exam boycott call.”

But then there were no cameras. India was under Emergency, ruled by the iron lady, Indira Gandhi. Had those pictures been taken and published they would have certainly evoked much greater global response!

It was horrifying to see the way parents scaled walls and did Spiderman acts in order to hand cheat codes to their brats. Well, there was Bihari pride being flushed down the toilet!

The local media houses in Bihar were also to blame. You see, they were tired of being neglected and sidelined by the former Chief Minister Laloo Prasad. So they bent over backwards to boost the image of the more ‘media friendly’ Nitish Kumar and his first NDA government.

Some maintain that the media turned a blind eye on the rapid deterioration in teaching standards and the corruption in teacher recruitment, highlighting instead the sugar coating: new classrooms, free bicycles and uniforms and so on. The media needs to introspect whether, in its enthusiasm to erase the ‘bad lands’ tag and support the then Nitish led NDA government’s ‘Bihar Brand campaign’,  they airbrushed away fundamental flaws in their attempt to ‘pretty up’ the Bihar picture.

Nobody scrutinized the delivery system. In the past decade the machinery has almost rotted away, many objective Bihar-watchers say. “The situation has reached  such a pass that matric examinees have been left with little option but to rely entirely on mass copying. They have hardly been taught,” says a blogger in an attempt to explain the situation.

Even as this farce played out, local Patna media reported another scam. The principal and teachers of a CBSE recognised school had started a cosy ‘fail students – demand thousands of rupees- and then allow them in for their board exams’ kind of racket.

It’s time to take stock of Brand Bihar. What’s the current  value of a secondary school certificate from Bihar?  Be warned. Stock’s plummeting!!!

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Posted by on March 29, 2015. Filed under Bihar,Breaking News,Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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