The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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HS Council crippled by review riddle

For the president of the West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary (HS) Examinations, the failure of one of his close relatives — an HS 2003 examinee — and a subsequent plea for review could not have come at a worse time.

This year’s HS review result, in fact, will decide the careers of not only thousands of aggrieved examinees but also whether the Council chief will retain his post or not. Council president Jyotirmoy Mukherjee says he has decided to quit if he finds his relative has not cleared the review. “I will resign on moral grounds,” Mukherjee told Metro.

Mukherjee feels he should resign because if his relative fails to pass after the review, he will have to stay out of the examination process for the second consecutive year. His relative’s failure in the review will mean the student taking the exam again next year.

According to government rules, if a close relative of any senior official of the Council, including its president and secretary, is an HS candidate, then the official cannot participate in the exam process in that particular year. And going by the rule, Mukherjee was not allowed to handle any examination-related affairs this year.

The situation, however, has also put the government in a dilemma, as never in the past has the Council came across such a situation.

“One of the most vital functions of the Council president is to conduct the HS examinations. Mukherjee has not participated in the exam procedure this year. We may have to face serious administrative problems if we are forced to keep the president out of the examination process once again next year. We are waiting for the announcement of the review results,” said an official of the education department.

This year’s HS process was managed by Council secretary Dibyendu Chakraborty.

Government sources, however, said Mukherjee is set to retire in September 2004. He joined the post in 2001 at a time when HS exams for the year were already over. Mukherjee had conducted the 2002 exam, and that will be the only credit in his service record if he is not allowed to participate in the 2004 exam procedure. This is why Mukherjee feels he should resign if his relative fails the review.

This year’s HS results were announced last Friday. The review results are expected next month.

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