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Bihar: Over 5 lakh 'ghost' students, causing Rs 300 cr loss to state, removed from government schools

The removal of over 5 lakh 'ghost students' from the government schools' enrollments is a part of a reform drive launched by the Bihar Education Department aiming to improve the attendance of children in the schools.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Patna Updated on: October 12, 2023 11:08 IST
5 lakh ghost students in Bihar schools
Image Source : REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE/PTI 5 lakh ghost students in Bihar schools

Bihar Education Department is once again in the news for the wrong reason. According to media reports, the names of over 5 lakh students in Bihar were struck off from the government schools. The Education Department officials removed the names of these students after they found no physical presence of them in their respective schools. The irregularity in the total number of students in the government schools was detected after officials began a review drive to improve attendance in the state-run schools.

The action by the Education Department hinted at a scam which was going on as the government provides several benefits to the students. The reports suggest 'fake or ghost students' were availing government benefits which were meant for the genuine students. Now, according to the reports, the state exchequer will save approximately Rs 300 crore after excluding over 5 lakh students from the government data. The move will help the government to get the real enrolment figures in government schools in Bihar.

KK Pathak, the additional chief secretary of the Education Department, launched several initiatives a few months ago to reform the education system in the state. The "weeding out" operation is part of his initiatives. The reports suggested that Pathak ordered to strike off the names of students after he, during his school visits, found students were absent for extended periods. People, in the know, suspect that a large number of "ghost students" were enrolled elsewhere or studying in private schools or school staffers might have involvement in the alleged corruption.

The Education Department will soon launch a door-to-door survey to cross-check the enrollment registers. The officials will also identify the families whose children are not attending schools.

Meanwhile, the Bihar government spends over Rs 3,000 crore on benefits for students under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) which means the "ghost students" cost a huge loss to the state exchequer.

Also read: Uttarakhand: PM Modi offers prayers at Parvati Kund in Pithoragarh


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