This year’s XII boards topper in Bihar, Ganesh Kumar followed suit with last year’s topper Ruby Rai. In 2016, she had said “political science” is about cooking. This time too, Bihar’s Class XII topper in humanities struggled to explain the basics of music, one of his subjects.
Controversies continue to dog the state’s Class XII toppers.
Ganesh Kumar, who topped Class XII boards in humanities stream, stumbled over queries posed by the media on music, in which he scored 65 out of 70 in practicals.
Kumar in an interview to a TV news channel said singer Lata Mangeshkar is known as ‘Maithili Kokila’, a title bestowed on folk singer Sharda Sinha, who is from Samastipur, where his school is situated.
He seemed to have a difficult time explaining what is ‘sur’, ‘taal’ and ‘matra’, considered the basics of music. Asked what did he do in music practicals, he unrhythmically sang a few lines of a Bollywood number.
The 24-year-old Kumar appeared for the board exams at Ramnandan Singh Jagdip Narayan High school in Samastipur’s Chhakhabib village and scored 82.6 per cent.
He got 92 per cent in Hindi, 82 per cent in music and 42 per cent in social science.
A report from Samastipur said Kumar’s school cancelled a function to felicitate him following the controversy.
Kumar, who hails from Giridih in Jharkhand, said he had come to the village in search of livelihood some years ago and had taken admission in the school after some people asked him to do so.
The school’s founding secretary, Jawahar Prasad Singh, claimed that Kumar had himself decided to take admission in the school.
State Education Minister Ashok Choudhary, after a meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said, “The board chairman has himself said the evaluation process was carried out in a proper manner … the media is always looking to rake up something negative.”
Mr Choudhary asked if the “media person who posed queries to the topper is himself a great musician?”
Answer sheets were evaluated by competent teachers and is it not justified to question the low pass percentage this year, he added.
A whopping 64 per cent of students failed the board exams this year.
Several science stream students told the media that they appeared in JEE Advance, conducted for admission into IITs, but scored as low as 1, 2 or 4 in subjects like physics and maths in the board exams.
Meanwhile, a large number of students, who failed the exams, protested outside the BSEB’s office today, prompting the police to resort to lathi charge.