Fourteen students were prevented on Monday from appearing for their Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations as they showed up late at the exam centres. In the past one week, more than 30 students have been prevented from taking the exams for reaching their centres later than 30 minutes after the exams started. Seventeen students reported late for the exams on Monday, of which 14 students were not allowed to take the test as they reached the centre 30 minutes after the exams began. Students were appearing for the Physics and Secretarial Practice exams on Monday.“The rule has been very clear since the very beginning and in a city like Mumbai, students should be aware of the traffic problems and ensure that they enter the exam centre at least 30 minutes before the exam commences,” said Subhash Borse, in-charge secretary, Mumbai division of Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE). Borse said most of the latecomers were from Nalla Sopara in the western suburbs.Changes to the HSC examination rules were introduced this year. This was done after facing flak from the state government repeatedly for not being able to avoid paper leaks in 2016 and 2017. The changes include no cellphones rule for staff and students, opening of question paper booklet only once the supervisor is inside the exam classroom in front of students, and no entry for latecomers. This year, the state board has also introduced more flying squads to keep a vigil during the exams. On Monday, 12 cases of copying and cheating were registered in Mumbai region alone. “Eleven out of these were recorded from three different centres in Nalla Sopara,” said Borse. “The flying squads are very strict this year and no student cheating during their exams will be spared,” he said.