Patna, Sept. 6: What connects:
• An empty field
• A building housing the service centre of a four-wheeler brand
• A non-existent structure
All of them are, according to official records, Intermediate colleges affiliated to the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB).
These "colleges" with little or no infrastructure were granted
affiliation by jailed former board chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, one
of the alleged masterminds of the Intermediate result scam.
The revelations were made today by current board chairman Anand
Kishor, who issued showcause notices to 36 such colleges asking them to
explain why their affiliation should not be cancelled. The board had
earlier issued similar notices to 52 other colleges.
The "in-name-only" colleges were discovered by the board's special
team probing the infrastructure of institutions granted affiliation
during Lalkeshwar Prasad's tenure as chairman between June 2014 and June
The list includes names such as Dr Nazar Imam International +2 High
School, Mohammedpur (Phulwarisharif): it has no building, no classrooms,
no labs, but has been running in an open field for two years.
Similarly, Keshav Videshri Inter College in Arwal district, located
around 70km south of Patna, has been "operating" from a building that is
being used as a workshop of a four-wheeler company.
Apart from the 36 colleges that were issued showcause notices for
suspension, the board also issued a directive for lodging an FIR against
two colleges, re-inspection of five and gave six months' time to two
institutions to strengthen their infrastructure.
"Most of the educational institutions that received affiliation lack
basic infrastructure, teaching and non-teaching staff and had enrolled
more students than the sanctioned number of seats," said board chairman
Around 213 schools/Intermediate colleges had received affiliation
during Lalkeshwar's tenure and all of them are on the radar of the board
probe committee. Of these 213 institutions, the committee has completed
its probe into 158.
Lalkeshwar's name figures in the chargesheet filed yesterday by the special investigation team (SIT) probing the result scam.
Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj, who heads the
SIT, said the investigation will now primarily concentrate on how and
why so many Intermediate colleges had been granted affiliation. "The
police, in coordination with the BSEB, have found out that Lalkeshwar
had provided affiliation to around 200 Intermediate colleges brushing
aside all rules and regulations," said Maharaaj.
The board, based on the findings of the infrastructure committee,
will suspend the affiliation of all such schools/colleges. If required,
police cases too will be filed. But students won't be affected.
"Students studying in such colleges will be tagged to nearby colleges in
the same district," said Kishor.
Vaishali district magistrate Rachana Patil has sent her answers to
the questions posed to her by the SIT in connection with the result
scam. "She has answered to the queries," Patna SSP Maharaaj told The Telegraph without divulging details.
Sources in the SIT said four questions had been asked to her.
"Some of them are why the examination centre of Vishun Roy College,
Vaishali (the epicentre of the scam), was changed and on whose authority
was it done? Also, she was asked as to whether rules were followed in
the process and why examination superintendents were changed. As far as
my information goes, she has replied that centres and superintendents
were changed as the administration felt that there could be incidents of
cheating and all the steps taken were done in good faith. I cannot say
more on this," an SIT member told The Telegraph under cover of anonymity.
Anything is possible in Bihar, UP and Jharkhand.
Many years ago, the Gandhi Maidan and Platform No 4 of the Patna Railway station were mortgaged and loan taken against them. It seems, things have not changed much since then in spite of Nitish Kumar tomtoming his achievements. With people like Lalu Yadav and his relatives in the Bihar cabinet, how can things improve?