Higher Edu director in trouble over ‘age fudging’!

Bhubaneswar: Less than six months after Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) initiated a probe to ascertain the age of 36 Odisha sportsmen, the Higher Education department has asked the Board of Secondary Education (BSE), Cuttack to furnish details and documents regarding the date of birth of Nihar Ranjan Patnaik, director, Higher Education.

The department has come to know that Patnaik passed his High School Certificate (HSC) Examination at the age of 14 when as per rules, the minimum age limit for regular candidates to appear at the HSC test shall not be less than 15 years.

In a recent letter to BSE Secretary, the department has asked to clarify whether age condonation was allowed in favour of Patnaik whose date of birth as per service book is 07.02. 1957.

“I am to request you to clarify that whether age condonation was allowed in favour of Patnaik and if so a copy of such certificate may be submitted to this department for necessary follow up action at this end”, the letter read.

However, educationists opine that if the Board fails to submit documents in this regard, the department may seek legal procedure to take action against the official.

“The Board has to submit its record in this matter. In case it fails to find any such record, it will intimate the same to the department for further action”, said educationist Amulya Panda.

“It must be investigated in what circumstances the Board allowed him (Patnaik) to appear the examination”, educationist Pritish Acharya stated.

Official sources said, the department has issued a show cause notice to Patnaik in this regard.