Calcutta, June 8: Calcutta bagged the top two positions in the 2005 Higher Secondary Examinations, whose results were announced today, but rural Bengal on the whole continued its domination of the merit list.
Both Mithun Chakraborty and Ananda Roy, candidates from South Point school, broke previous years’ records to score 979 and 978 out of 1,000. Tied with Ananda for the second spot was Raja Bysak of Raiganj Coronation High School, North Bengal. Another Calcutta boy, Abhishek Malakar of Hindu School, stood eighth.
“This year’s exams will be remembered for two things 'the high pass percentage and the early publication of results. Never before in the history of the Higher Secondary council had we achieved such feats,” said Gopa Dutta, council president.
The two feats, apparently, were related. The five per cent rise in the proportion of successful candidates ' from 62.60 per cent in 2004 to 67.56 per cent this year ' was powered mainly by a 3 per cent rise in the success rate in English. But a second reason was lenient marking in the rush to get the results out by June 10, the deadline set by the Supreme Court, sources said.
The overall success rate is all the more surprising because the girls’ pass percentage dipped by four compared with last year. It was a bad year for girl candidates with none of them making it to the top 10. Shalmoli Gupta of Calcutta’s Patha Bhavan school was first among the girls. Also absent from the merit list were schools run by the Ramakrishna order.
Calcutta was the best among all the districts with a success rate of 78.90 per cent, followed by Darjeeling (73.57) and Hooghly (73.46). Cooch Behar brought up the rear with 55.56 per cent.
Bankura, after the success of the Madhyamik and entrance exams, had to be content with the ninth spot on the merit list, bagged by Abhirup Ghosh.
The council patted itself on the back for managing to publish the results within 38 days of the close of exams. The Supreme Court, in a directive not binding on Bengal this year, had asked state boards to publish plus-two exam results by June 10 so that successful candidates could sit for the all-India entrance tests.