A CBI probe has found that eight CBSE schools in West Bengal fudged their students’ lists to allow candidates from elsewhere to take the board exams.
The CBI, which took up the matter following a Calcutta High Court directive, probed one school and submitted a chargesheet, and in the process found that at least seven others were involved in similar rackets. Last month, the CBI wrote to state police authorities suggesting they investigate the larger racket.
According to the probe, school authorities would take bribes routed from students of non-CBSE schools and send their names to the board. Officials of the non-CBSE schools, too, were allegedly part of the racket.
Because there is a cap on the number of candidates from every school, all this meant regular students could not take the exams. This was what led to the racket being unearthed. In 2010, 186 students from a CBSE school petitioned the High Court that they had not got their Class X admit cards though they had completed the formalities.
Their school was Vivekananda Academy in Betai, Nadia, the first one probed. The chargesheet said that of 219 names sent by the school, only 33 were bona fide students.
In a report to the High Court and forwarded to the Bengal DGP and the CBSE last fortnight, the CBI has now named Sudhir Memorial Institute, Bodhichary Senior Secondary School, Panishoela Indira Samrity Vidyapith, Kalyani Central Model School, Barrackpore Central Model School, Aditya Academy and Indira Memorial School in various districts.
The CBI has named 17 persons including the principals and teachers of some of these schools, and those of some schools not affiliated to the CBSE. The probe found that the heads of the non-affiliated schools would charge their students between Rs 3,500 and Rs 18,000 — the CBSE charges Rs 400 for registration and examination in the Class X exams. “During investigation, even though the direct involvement of CBSE officials was not detected, there is a laxity on the part of CBSE which failed to monitor and check such illegal activities of affiliated schools,” the CBI report said.
CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi conceded being aware