The Ambernath exam centre, from where the SSC Algebra paper was leaked on Thursday, could face a ban of up to three years, the state education board has said.
Board officials said they were not looking at a permanent ban because the board was facing a shortage of examination centres, owing to the increase in the number of students appearing for exams every year.
However, the final decision on whether the centre will be banned does not rest with the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
The fate of the school will depend on the deliberations of a standing committee meeting, which will be held at the end of the exams.
Copies of the Mathematics Paper – I (Algebra) were leaked from the Mandakini Madhyamik Bhor Vidyalaya, Ambernath, to a nearby coaching class a few minutes before the exam.
Laxmikant Pandey, chairperson of the state board, Mumbai division, said that the school is currently a sub-centre where 156 students appear for their board exams.
It was created to take some load off the main centre at the nearby Fatima School. “We need more exam centres every year. The Bhor Vidyalaya was turned into a sub-centre so that students from that area could give their exams at a centre close to their homes,” Pandey said.
One solution, said Pandey, was to let the Ambernath centre function, but ensure that the deputy conductor in charge of holding exams there does not belong to the school (at the time of the incident, Mangala Thorat, the school’s principal, was also the deputy conductor).
"If we appoint an outsider as a deputy conductor, it will ensure that the exams are conducted in an objective manner while maintaining transparency," Pandey said.