Questions from the regional entrance exam for the Indian National Mathematics Olympiad (INMO) conducted on December 5 were leaked on a website (domain name withheld) a few hours before the test.
About 25,000 Class 11 and 12 students from across India had enrolled for the exam conducted by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mankhurd.
The regional exam is the first-level exam for shortlisting students for the second-level exam. Those who clear both will be selected for the INMO, scheduled in first week of February 2011
“The paper was leaked,” confirmed SS Mane, national coordinator for the mathematic Olympiad. “Some students complained that the questions were posted on a website.”
However, there will be no re-test. The organising committee has decided that instead of selecting the top 30 students from the regional exam, a larger number of students will be shortlisted for the second level. Finally, six students will be chosen to represent the country in the international arena.
The centre is conducting an internal investigation and no criminal complaint has yet been registered. “The paper leak has not affected 95% of the students who appeared for the test. Only those from a few cities saw the questions,” said Sane explaining the decision against a retest. “Conducting a re-exam is logistically difficult and a gigantic task.”
However, some officials at the centre questioned the decision to not hold a re-test. “What is the point of shortlisting a larger pool of students? Those who got access to the leaked paper will score well and be at the top,” said an official requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The INMO began in 1991 under the National Board of Higher Mathematics, Department of Atomic Energy.