India Bihar students to be retested after viral video

Cheating in Saharsa Image copyright Dipankar
Image caption Last year, parents of students were photographed climbing school walls to pass on answers in Bihar.

Fourteen students who topped school leaving exams in India's Bihar state will be retested amid concerns they cheated, the state government has said.

The decision was taken after one of the students, 17-year-old Ruby Rai, told a local media channel that political science was about cooking.

Video of the interview with her and other students went viral in India.

Last year, parents of students in the state were photographed climbing school walls to pass on answers.

The embarrassed state government had announced tough measures like fines and jail terms intended to curb cheating this year.

The markedly lower pass rate seen in the results announced last week was taken as an indication that the steps had worked.

That is, of course, until the footage of arts student Ruby Rai's interview was aired.

The government said that her result, as well as that of Saurabh Shrestha who came first in science and was unable to answer a simple chemistry question, had been suspended with immediate effect.

The two students, along with 12 others who excelled in the examinations, will now have to appear for a written test and interview before a panel of subject experts on 3 June, Bihar examinations chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh told Indian media.

Their handwriting will also be checked to verify if they answered their own questions, he said.

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