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Probe into marks malady

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 11: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today asked chief secretary Ajit Tripathy to probe into the alleged jacking up of numbers in the matriculation mark-sheet of the son of school and mass education minister Bishnu Charan Das.

The minister’s son, Bijay Shankar, had scored 602 (80.26 per cent) out of 750 in this year’s high school certificate examination, the results of which were declared in May.

The president of board of secondary education (the organisation that conducts the annual examination) then, Debendra Mishra, was tipped by someone about the alleged jacking up of numbers during tabulation. Mishra, who initiated a departmental probe into the case on his own last week, was removed unceremoniously early this week and replaced by Kishore Mohanty.

Tripathy said that Naveen has asked him to find out the truth behind the allegations. “I have asked the present board of secondary education president, secretary and controller of examination to submit the probe report as soon as possible. If convinced, I will send it to the chief minister. Otherwise, I will initiate an independent probe.”

Das could not be reached despite repeated attempts.

The case of alleged favouritism hogged limelight following the arrest of two persons for allegedly running a fake certificate racket in the state. The accused allegedly sold fake matriculation and higher secondary certificates. They also used to supply fake bachelor’s degree certificates of Fakir Mohan University and Utkal University. Higher education minister Samir Dey has directed the officers at various levels, including the varsity heads, to initiate a probe.

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