At least 360 students were caught cheating across the state on Thursday during the intermediate examination conducted by Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), which has been under the scanner over several scams in the past few years.
The intermediate or state Class 12 board exam drew nationwide condemnation last year after the ‘toppers scam’ following interviews of students, who allegedly aced the tests, by television news channels.
The Class 12 arts ‘topper’ described her subject as ‘prodigal’ science and thought it was about cooking. Her classmate, a science topper, couldn’t explain the connection between H2O and water.
In 2015, parents and relatives of students in Hajipur district 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.
The board said in a statement that 59 candidates were barred from the rest of the exam in Nawada district, followed by 35 in Gaya and 19 in Patna on the third day of the exam.
In Nawada district, around 32 girls were caught cheating in centre number 2311 at Seth Sagar Mal Aggarwal Women college in the first sitting of physics exam, the BSEB statement said. It cancelled the test at the centre.
Superintendent and assistant superintendent of the centre have been suspended and removed from exam duty. Along with them 17 invigilators of the Nawada centre have also been suspended and barred from duty.
The board also said that 5 people were arrested for allegedly impersonating as candidates in Jehanabad, Nalanda, Gaya and Darbhanga districts.
The BSEB, which has adopted zero tolerance policy against the use of unfair means in exams, expelled 204 students on Wednesday. On the first day, 267 students were expelled.
BSEB chairperson Anand Kishore has tried to ensure cheating-free exam this year by making surprise visits to several centres and frisking students himself.
The exams are being held at 1,274 centres across Bihar and would end on February 25.