Following the back-to-back instances of three Higher Secondary Certificate papers being leaked on a social networking app before the exam, the state board has instructed its flying squads — travelling invigilators — to keep a close eye on examination centres.
To prevent a repeat of these incidents during the upcoming papers and the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams, beginning from Tuesday, the board in a meeting with members of flying squads has reiterated that only custodians — those who look after the question papers — and examination centre heads should be allowed to carry mobile phones to the centre.
Flying squads will also visit centres before the exam begins to ensure that supervisors or centre staff doesn’t take photos of question papers before handing them to the students.
The divisional board was left red-faced on Saturday when the Secretarial Practice paper was out on a WhatsApp group, minutes before it was handed to the examinees.
The Physics paper too was found circulating between 10:50am and 11:01am. This was just two days after the Marathi paper was leaked online in a similar manner.
Hence, the board is now worried about the SSC exams in which more than 3.87 lakh students will appear from the Mumbai division.
“In a recent meeting, the board once again told us to ensure that students or teachers do not carry and use their phones in the exam centre,” said Prashant Redij, one of the flying squad members.
“At the beginning of the exam itself, we instruct teachers that mobiles and internet access are not allowed to students or staff at the exam centre. Now in light of the recent incidents, we have once again informed them to be strict in its implementation,” said Siddheshwar Chandekar, divisional secretary.
Chandekar added that although the rules are in place, there is no way to check each and every staff member and student. “Given the large number of students and teachers at the centres, we cannot frisk each one. It would take hours,” said Chandekar.