The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Result rich haul in poor district

Calcutta, May 31: Bankura bettered its Madhyamik performance two notches this year, throwing up the top three stars in today’s results compared to a solitary boy last year.

Hailing from the economically backward district with a literacy level of a shade over 60, Arindam Santra (785 out of 800), Ahana Pradhan (783) and Rajen Madan (782) established yet again that rural schools could give counterparts in Calcutta, that boasts a literacy rate of 81, a run for their marks.

“There is no denying Bankura is way down in the literacy table of our districts. But, somehow, Bankura manages to hog glory in the Madhyamik exams,” said school education minister Kanti Biswas.

Arindam scored three more marks than last year’s topper, Chiranjeet Dey, also from the same district.

The education establishment held up the result as an example of government-sponsored development in rural Bengal ' a refrain that sceptics had earlier cited to cast doubts on the impartiality of the evaluation system.

“Like before, schools in the rural districts have performed exceedingly well. The trend indicates the spread of education, thanks to initiatives taken by the government and its agencies,” Madhyamik board president Dibyendu Hota said.

No formal merit list was announced, but board officials said 12 examinees, two from Calcutta, had bagged the first 10 slots. For the first time, marksheets were issued with photographs.

The topper from Calcutta was Tamoghna Biswas of Naba Nalanda High School who scored 778 despite a permanent retina ailment. Among the city girls, Upasana Mukherjee of South Point High School came up tops with 763.

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