Ballia Town

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Ballia Town

This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

{Baliya). — Head-quarters of the District and tahsil of the same name, United Provinces, situated in 25 44' N. and 84 io' E., on the north bank of the Ganges, and on the Bengal and North-Western Railway. Population (1901), 15,278. The name of the town is popularly derived from Valmiki, the poet ; but it has no history, though an attempt has been made to identity it with some of the remains visited by the Chinese pilgrims. The old town of Ballia was almost entirely destroyed by the erosive action of the Ganges between 1873 an d 1 87 7. Houses and offices were built on a new site ; but the river still cut away the bank, and in 1894 the head-quarters were removed to Korantadih. A new civil station was then laid out a mile from the Ganges, and occupied in 1900. Ballia contains the usual public offices and a hospital and several schools.

It has been a municipality since 1871. During the ten years ending 1901 the income and expenditure averaged Rs. 10,500. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 23,000, chiefly derived from a tax on circumstances and property (Rs. 5,000) and receipts at fairs (Rs. 12,000); and the expenditure was Rs. 23,000. Sugar and cloth are manufactured ; and the town is one of the chief trade centres in the District, oilseeds and ghl being exported, and rice, piece-goods, metals, and salt being imported. Ballia is noted for the great Dadri fair held annually on the full moon of Kartik (October-November). The attendance reaches 500,000 to 600,000 in favourable years, and a large trade is done in cattle and miscellaneous goods. Small charges levied from the dealers form the greater part of the municipal income. The munici- pality manages 1 school and aids 1 1 others with a total attendance of 570, besides the District school with 180 pupils.

The examinations fraud mafia

Priyanka Singh, March 3, 2017: The Times of India

Districts in Uttar Pradesh grappling with copying problem; Priyanka Singh, March 3, 2017: The Times of India

Ballia and some neighbouring towns are ground zero. The cheating mafia flourish here. Students, also from neighbouring states, eager to dazzle in public exams with no effort, make a beeline for these areas and take the UP board exams. They get in touch with the scamsters, who organise admissions to state-board affiliated institutions and ensure clients get pass certificates with divi sions of their choice.

BJP went after the masterminds of the fraud in 1992 and lost the elections. SP won and immedi ately scrapped the anti-copying ordinance BJP had promulgated. Recently , responding to Modi's concern, CM Akhilesh Yadav dismissed the issue as not worth losing sleep over. So, Ballia's cheating factory prospers. Every year hundreds of private and non-affiliated colleges apply for examination centre status. Once the approvals come, they conduct high school and intermediate examinations with assorted facilities to enable cheating. There's no political will to end the menace.

The UP Secondary Teachers' Association is worried and wants the enrolment and approval system for exam centres to go online. But the UP secondary education department hasn't raised a finger to stop the fraud sters. Districts such as Kaushambi, Aligarh, Hardoi, Deoria, Mau, Azamgarh, Bahraich, Gonda, Basti, Shravasti Gorakhpur and Ballia are notorious. R P Mishra, secretary of the teach ers' association, says UP has “over 1 lakh sham private colleges and coaching centres that register Class IX and XI students“. Ballia provides ideal conditions to these fake colleges. Vigilance is lax.This year, the town had 317 high school and intermediate exam centres for 2.20 lakh students. Of these, almost 50% are self-financed.

In 2015, government limited the number of such cen tres in Ballia to 224. But at last count the number stood at 317.Geeta Yadav, a high school teacher here, says, “The rule is that while allocating exam centres, priority should be given to government and aided colleges. Self-financed institutions should be considered only when no option is left. But the district inspector of schools has been on a spree to increase exam centres, mostly private colleges.“

Ballia teachers claim that until 2012, every year around 30,000-40,000 students from Punjab, Haryana, Bihar and even Nepal take exams here.The education mafia mints around Rs 3,500 crore every year, estimates say .

SP Singh, former principal secretary , secondary education, UP , now leads a campaign called Nakal Roko Abhiyaan. “I had black-listed around 255 such fake centres for facilitating cheating.These often hold exams in the open or under tin-sheds, which obviously help copying,“ he said.

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