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Maha board to form more flying squads to curb malpractice during HSC exams

The squads visit various exam centres daily and report problems, to the chief exam conductor

mumbai Updated: Jan 31, 2018 23:24 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,HSC,exams
After a series of question paper leaks rocked the HSC examinations in 2017, the state board has been upgrading its examination system to avoid the problem this year. (Representational photo/Getty Images)

To curb malpractices during the upcoming Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations, the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has decided to increase the number of flying squads that pay surprise visits to exam centres. The exams will start from February 21.

“We are doing everything in our capacity to ensure zero malpractices take place during exams this year. The flying squads will help maintain vigilance during the examinations,” said Subhash Borse, in-charge secretary of the state board’s Mumbai division.

Flying squads were originally set up in 2013 by the state board. The squads visit various exam centres daily and report problems, to the chief exam conductor.

After a series of question paper leaks rocked the HSC examinations in 2017, the state board has been upgrading its examination system to avoid the problem this year. Last year, five HSC question papers were leaked on WhatsApp at least 30 minutes before the exams started. Another major change the HSC examinations will undergo this year is that packets of question papers will be opened only in the exam hall.

“Earlier, the board would send a big sealed bundle of question papers that would be opened by the staff before dividing it into different sets and sending it to individual classrooms at an exam centre. This year, the bundles will be opened only once the supervisor enters the classroom that too only in the presence of at least two students,” said RB Giri, in-charge chairperson of Mumbai division.

In a meeting held at the state board’s head office in Pune, it was decided that only 25 students will be allowed in every exam hall (classroom) and question papers will be divided into sets of 25 each, so that the exam centre doesn’t have to open the bundles before it reaches the classrooms. “This way, we can ensure that no one is allowed to see the question paper before examination begins,” Borse said.

Since most paper leaks are taking place over WhatsApp, the state board has also been conducting a series of workshops across schools to ensure that no mobile phones are allowed inside exam centres. “Not just students, even the teachers and lab technicians will not be allowed to carry mobile phone every time they are near the bundle,” said Borse.

Pages from unpublished class 10 textbooks leaked on social media

A first information report (FIR) was filed with the police by the state board’s textbook department late on Wednesday evening after pictures of the yet to be released class 10 textbooks made it to social media. The Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research (MSBTPCR) had set up a board of studies to upgrade the class 10 textbooks for the next academic year, copies of which were supposed to be officially released by the state board in April this year.

“PDF copies of the Science and Technology (Part I and II) textbooks have been circulated on WhatsApp, so we have filed an official complaint with the Dadar police. This act is against the law,” said Sunil Magar, director of the textbook bureau. He added that the complaint will now be looked into by the cyber crime department. “Strict action will be taken against the culprit,” added Magar.

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 23:24 IST