The Telegraph
Saturday , May 12 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Matric monitor pulls up agency for list muddle

After a frenzied day of releasing a flawed list of matriculation achievers and then hurriedly amending it, the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) on Friday slapped a showcause on the agency it had outsourced its computing and data management work.

The agency, the name of which is being withheld by the council, has been given 48 hours to reply on why it excluded the prestigious Netarhat Awasiya Uchcha Vidyalaya in Latehar while culling details of achievers from the exhaustive merit list.

It is believed that the root of the blunder lies in last year’s listing pattern from which the Netarhat cradle was kept out following discrepancies in answer sheets of some of its students.

The fresh achiever list, which was brought out on Thursday evening, hours after publication of matriculation results, has arguably reinstated a couple of myths that were considered broken.

First, the Netarhat residential school retained its glory bagging eight of the top 10 slots. Rohit Kumar Mondal of JBC Uchcha Vidyalaya, Jamtara, and Neetu Murmu of Indira Gandhi Uchcha Balika Vidyalaya, Hazaribagh, are the others on this list.

Second, boys have outdone girls. Pakur resident Neetu — who was earlier considered to be this year’s matriculation topper but later found to have tied with the Netarhat school’s Rahul Kumar at rank six — is the only girl on the achiever list of 10.

JAC officials conceded that the agency entrusted with matriculation data management relied on last year’s process for making a merit list. In 2011, the Netarhat cradle was excluded from the elite list following allegations that whiteners were used on answer sheets of some students.

JAC secretary Sushil Kumar Roy asserted that this year’s goof up was not their fault, but that of the outsourced firm, “which never asked whether to exclude/include Netarhat school results” while preparing the list of first 10.

Another JAC official added: “They used their own discretion to exclude Netarhat students this year. This is a grave mistake and a nighmare for us.”

Council chairperson Laxmi Singh said stern action would be taken against the agency. “Today, we have issued a showcause and will act on the basis of the reply,” she said.

HRD minister Baidyanath Ram, who was also present during publication of the results around noon on Thursday, said before issuing the list, a thorough check should have been done. “This is playing with sentiments of students,” he said, adding that he would keep tabs on measures taken by JAC in the matter.

Speaking to mediapersons after the amended list was released, Neetu said she felt demoralised. “The authorities should take their job seriously when it concerns the future of students.