A total of 3,410 male and female children, most of them in their teens, have been reported missing from Haryana in the last two years.While 1782 of them were girls, 1628 were boys, according to data given by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar during the Question Hour of the state assembly on Wednesday in response to party legislator Prem Lata’s question regarding missing children, their age group and steps taken to check the trend. Her husband, Union steel minister Birender Singh, was also present in the speaker’s gallery at that time.As per the information, 73% of the missing children were in the age group 12-18 years and the remaining 27% were below 12 years. During the same period, 1,217 girls and 1,144 boys were traced. Khattar, in his written reply, said the state government was serious towards safety and security of children. He listed the appointment of child welfare police officers in every police station, constitution of special juvenile police unit in every district and use of ‘Track the Missing Child’ portal among the measures taken by the state government to improve the functioning of the state police in this regard.He said that a standard operating procedure has been put in place to assist the police, child welfare committee and Juvenile Justice Board in dealing with the cases of missing and found or recovered children. Also, seven anti-human trafficking units have been set up in various districts of the state under the overall control of the state crime branch to closely monitor and investigate cases relating to missing children.CLASS 5 AND 8 BOARD EXAMS LIKELY FROM 2017-18 Education minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the state government would make a provision for board exams for classes 5 and 8 in academic session 2017-18, as the Centre is going to amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act.Sharma made the statement while responding to a ‘starred’ question of Congress legislator Geeta Bhukkal. She had asked the minister whether there is any proposal under consideration of the government to start board exams for classes 5 and 8. He said the state government was making efforts to improve the quality of education in the state. The previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had introduced the no-detention policy which had an adverse impact on the quality of education, he said.However, Bhukkal said the state government and its functionaries, including the chief minister, had repeatedly talked about starting board exams for these classes in the past two years, but nothing was done in the last two academic sessions. The minister then gave the assurance to make the provision. Bhukkal was head of a sub-committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) which had, in its report to the Union ministry of human resource development in 2014, favoured reintroduction of exams for promotion or detention of students from Class 5.GOVT TO GIVE MATS AND SET UP GYMS IN 100 AKHARASThe Haryana government has decided to provide wrestling mats and set up gyms in 100 akharas (wrestling grounds) in the state.Congress MLA Kiran Choudhry raised the issue of availability of quality wrestling mats in akharas during the question hour, asking the minister why simple 12 m X 12 m mats, and not the Olympic level wrestling mats, were being provided to wrestlers.In response, sports minister Anil Vij said that the government would provide 100 wrestling mats as per the specifications set by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to 100 akharas across the state by June 30, 2017. “There are no Olympic-level wrestling mats. We go by specifications set by SAI,” he said.The minister said the government was focusing on sports infrastructure. “The allocation of the sports department is being increased by 59% in the state budget for 2017-18. There are 256 wrestling grounds in the state and 108 of them are registered. Besides giving mats, gyms will be set up in these akharas,” he told the House.