Saikia dares Sarma to prove allegation
'Hidden grace marks' by SEBA
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 12: Be it grace or falling from grace, the controversy triggered by State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma seems to linger long with Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Debabrata Saikia raising certain issues connected to the minister’s statement.
The Education Minister was on record alleging on the floor of the House that since 2001 besides usual grace marks, ‘hidden grace marks’ had been given to the HSLC candidates by the SEBA with consent from Dispur just to increase the percentage of successful candidates in the State.
Talking to the media today, Saikia said: “The minister’s allegation on the floor of the State Assembly isn’t without any hidden agenda. The gossip about the minister is that having been influenced by the ideology of the RSS he’s out to bring a wholesome change in the State education system. He’s trying his best to infuse Hindu fundamentalism in education in the State. Untied funds have been given to the MLAs, and some of the BJP MLAs are sanctioning such funds for Sankardev Shishu/Vidyaniketans being run by Vidyabharati, the education wing of the RSS. The controversy triggered by the minister, that too on the eve of the HSLC results, is unnecessary.”
Saikia further said: “The minister now pretends not to know anything. HSLC pass percentage was the highest in the State in 2014 (70.71 per cent) when he was the Education Minister. The SEBA was formed in 1961 with a Bill introduced in the State Assembly that passed it. It’s an independent body. The minister said that he came to know of the ‘hidden grace marks’ only when the SEBA chairman moved him on the issue of giving grace marks to the HSLC candidates this year. If this is the fact, action should also be taken against the SEBA chairman for going for such an adventure. It’s a violation of independence vested with the board.”
Reacting to the Education Minister’s statement that all former education ministers were in the know of the hidden grace marks being given by the SEBA, Saikia said: “If that’s true, let the minister produce proofs in the forms of notes, if he has any.”
Reacting sharply to Sarma’s statement that his allegation could be proved if the answer scripts of HSLC candidates for the past ten years were checked, Saikai said: “This has exposed the falsity of the allegation as the SEBA keeps HSLC answer scripts for six months only.”
Saikia also vehemently opposed Sarma’s statement on the floor of the House for disbanding Madrassa Board in the State and to club it with the general board. “We demand status quo of the boards,” he said.