At least two instances of dubious practices during the ongoing UP Board exams have raised concerns over the effectiveness of measures adopted to check the use of unfair means.
These concerns arose after the Mau district administration had to recommend cancellation of the examination at 69 centres when a solved physics question paper of UP Board Class 12 reportedly went viral on WhatsApp.
Besides, the manager of a private school in Mau district was arrested on Thursday after a video went viral, in which he was seen giving cheating tips to students appearing in the UP Board examinations.
Already 3.58 lakh (358,618) examinees have skipped the examination within the first three days out of the 5.61 million students, who were registered to appear in the high school and intermediate examinations of the UP Board that began from February 18.
All this has happened despite the UP Board having deployed 1.88 lakh invigilators, installed 1.90 lakh CCTV cameras, sound recorders and routers to monitor the ongoing examination process.
Acting superintendent of police (SP), UP Special Task Force, Vishal Vikram Singh said multiple teams of STF were already on alert and keeping a vigil on suspicious examination centres in over a dozen districts.
“We have received a list of dubious examination centres from the UP Board. Mass copying or other unfair practices were reported at these centres in the past years. Besides, the STF has alerted the manual intelligence network across the state to keep check on mass copying and compromising of question papers,” he said.
“The board has taken various measures to check copying, but what can be done when the entire examination centre is compromised and everybody at the centre is involved in corrupt practices? The involvement of the college principal and staff need to be investigated by board officials,” he said.
He said several examination centres in districts like Ghazipur, Mau, Balia, Mathura, Etah and Etawa were on the STF radar.
DIOS SHOULD REMAIN VIGILANT: DY CM
Following the Mau incident, deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma directed all 75 District Inspector of Schools (DIoS) to remain vigilant and ensure that such an incident does not take place again. They were asked to ensure that CCTV cameras, voice recorders and routers remained functional. Any laxity on the part of the officials will be strictly death with, they were told.
Principal secretary, secondary education, Aradhana Shukla said it was because of the alertness and measures put in place that those found guilty of breaching the sanctity of the examinations were getting caught and shamed.
“I feel we are successful in catching the culprits which perhaps went unnoticed earlier. There are two purposes of technology. First, it is a deterrent and the second is to catch those who try to indulge in wrongdoing. So we are catching them,” she said.
“It will take some time for people and society to reform. And whatever you do to ensure that crime does not exist, there will be some elements, who will resort to foul play. The cameras and voice recorders were put in place to deal with crime. Sophisticated measures were taken to deal with such incidents. Some kind of erratic behaviour will take place,” she said.
“Yes, we really managed to put in a lot of deterrents into the system. I’m not saying it is perfect or not claiming it to be an ideal. It is a good start. We have used 1.90 lakh cameras with whatever little resources that was there. I had very few resources. There was no separate budget involved. We have not taken any money from the government. All we tried to do is organise things and get our act together,” Shukla said