Kalyanmoy Ganguly.
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Kolkata: The chairman of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education believes that the number of Madhyamik examinees in Bengal is declining due to the slow birth rate in the state.

Madhyamik happens to be the school leaving exam that is conducted by the state-run Board. This year’s Madhyamik is commencing tomorrow 12 February.

Kalyanmoy Ganguly, chairman of the Board, was on Monday addressing a news conference to apprise journalists about the preparations and other nitty-gritty of the exam.

He revealed that in all 10,64,980 students will appear for the Madhyamik this time, which is about 18,000 lower than the last year.

It was then that journalists asked about the reason for the decline, which met with a rather debatable answer.

“The decline in the number of examinees is due to the slow birth rate, which has been communicated to us by the state health department,” Ganguly said leaving a house full of journalists giggling.

Getting over the laughter, a journalist asked if the slow birth rate is the reason, why there is a sudden decline in the number of examinees this year.

The chairman of the Board, to which all the government-aided secondary schools in Bengal affiliated, was left fumbling for an answer for a few moments. “It is for you people to research and find out,” he said in an attempt to avoid the quizzing.

Ganguly, however, subsequently, tried to paint a coat of reasoning to the rather debatable reply.

“Also, the rate of success in Madhyamik has increased in the past few years. Since most are clearing the exam, there is no backlog and hence, the number of examinees is decreasing,” he said.

But even after journalists asked whether the decline is because an ever-growing number of students are opting for English medium schools belonging to other boards, Ganguly refused to admit.

“We don’t think so. Whatever I had to say I have stated, now it is up to the journalists to investigate, research and find out the veracity of it,” he summed up.

Madhyamik will continue from 12-22 February barring 14, 17 and 21 February. The exam will start at 11.45 am and continue till 3 pm.