The Assam government will install closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) inside examination halls to keep a check on rampant cheating in board exams.
The state has a pass percentage of 62.79% against the national 79.21%. The lower percentage was flagged by the Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry in a recent meeting held in February this year under the centrally-sponsored Scheme of the Integrated Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan.
“It was observed that pass percentage of the state is 62.79% against the national pass percentage of 79.21%, which is quite low. The state said due to a curb on malpractices in examinations, the pass percentage has dropped. This year it planned to install CCTVs in examination halls which may further reduce the percentage,” state the minutes of the meeting.
Several states have faced embarrassment over widespread cheating scandals during examinations.
After pictures of cheating went viral during the Bihar board examinations in 2015, the Bihar school examination board decided to introduce video recording, but the exercise is mainly done carried out by videographers. According to officials, the board has also issued tenders for nine multi-storey examination halls in nine divisions with CCTVs, to conduct various examinations.
Cheating has been a political issue in Uttar Pradesh for a long time. In 1992, the then BJP government in the state enacted an anti-copying act making it a cognisable offence.
The BJP had to pay a political price later. Mulayam Singh Yadav government repealed it two years later. UP Board had asked all 11,400 exam centres spread across the state to take necessary steps, including use of CCTV cameras, to ensure clean exams. However, UP Board officials concede that a mere handful of such centres have CCTV cameras installed in their campuses.
“Use of CCTV cameras was recommended by us this year in our detailed guidelines issued to all centres before the start of the board exams. We are aware that just a few centres have installed them. We now plan to use CCTV cameras to check copying on a wider scale from next year and instructions would be issued well in advance,” said Shail Yadav, secretary, UP Board.
(With inputs from Arun Kumar from Patna, K Sandeep Kumar from Allahabad)