Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday felicitated 248 toppers of Class X and XII examinations of various boards and said they would be given a bank deposit of Rs 10,000 each along with a scholarship by the state.
The Chief Minister stated: "All the toppers who are present here will get Rs 10,000 deposited in their bank accounts. I have discussed the matter with Chief Secretary Malay De."
In the same breath, she said all of them will also be getting scholarships so that no one needs to worry about continuing their studies as they had been doing for the past years with utmost dedication and sincerity.
She said: "Our government is a poor government. But we try our best to extend support to students." In connection with giving scholarships to students, she directed officials of the state Education department to address the issue sensitively.
The Chief Minister on Monday felicitated toppers of Madhyamik, Higher Secondary, ICSE, ISC, CBSE and WBJEE at Netaji Indoor Stadium. All the 248 students received books, laptops, wristwatches and sweets. Moreover, she went to each of them, spoke to them and also gave her autograph. The students interacted freely and shared their problems with her. Many of them gave the same in writing and she looked into all the letters during the programme itself to ensure immediate measures. State Education minister Partha Chatterjee, Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Chief Secretary Malay De and senior officials of the state Education department were also present at the event.
Banerjee said: "At present, facilities have increased. So has competition."
She also pointed out that she had directed Chatterjee to take necessary steps so that students from Bengal could compete at national-level examinations. She maintained: "Steps were taken so that our students also get good marks and compete at the national level." While speaking about ICSE and ISC students, she said: "When I was in college, 20 percent marks used to get deducted from the aggregate of students from other boards. Now nothing of that takes place."
Chatterjee said: "The state government will always stand beside a student whenever they are in any problem and at the same time, steps have also been taken so that our students can compete at the national level."
The toppers have also appreciated the steps taken by the Chief Minister to develop the education infrastructure. Rik Kirtanya, one of the toppers in ISC examination, said: "It was my dream that came to true after meeting the Chief Minister." A topper of Higher Secondary examination, Anisha Mondal, appreciated Banerjee's role by extending her help to girl students through the very successful Kanyashree Prakalpa.
Seema Shoren, Ol Chiki topper from West Burdwan, was also felicitated by the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister expressed her condolences to the family members of 21-year-old Debabrata Pal, the budding cricketer who died after a cardiac arrest triggered after a lightning strike.