Over 1,000 teachers in Madhya Pradesh were caught using unfair means during the Diploma in Education (Ded) exams conducted at several centres by the state's school education department.
The two year Ded course conducted by the state under its "Operation Quality" programme is aimed at training government schoolteachers who do not hold teacher-training degrees.
The programme was conducted across the state under the aegis of the Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (open) University headquartered in the state capital.
"As many as 100,000 untrained school teachers are appearing in this exam being conducted at 38 centres by the School Education Department," said a department official.
He added: "The department is, however, shocked to see so many of these teachers indulging in mass copying at various centres during the papers held July 9 and 16. The third and the last round of exams will be held July 23."
Alarmed by the number of teachers found cheating, the school education department and the University have now constituted flying squads to check the "use of unfair means" during the remaining DEd examination.
"Flying squads have been constituted at all district examination centres. Instructions have also been issued to appoint observers for monitoring the exams," said Bhoj University Vice-Chancellor Kamlakar Singh.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary of School Education IS Dani issued directives to all the district collectors asking them to initiate stern action against the superintendent, invigilators and examinees found using unfair means.
Bhoj University Registrar BS Goswami said examinations to be held at the centres where there have been reports of cheating would be cancelled. He added that stern action would be initiated against the responsible examinees under the Civil Service Conduct rules.
"How will teachers caught cheating face their students in schools?" he asked.