Students sit for the annual high school certificate examination at a school in Cuttack on Wednesday. Picture by Badrikanath Das
Cuttack, March 26: The matriculation examinations in Orissa began today with over 3.5 lakh students across 30 districts of the state taking the test in 2,046 centres amid tight security.
This year, board exams got delayed by 20 days and would continue till April 5.
This year we have adopted a three-tier model for monitoring the tests. Independent flying squads have been formed under the circle inspectors of each of the education districts, said P.K. Samal, the secretary of Orissa Board of Secondary Education (BSE).
Three regional directors of the school and mass education department would be monitoring tests at a zonal-level at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Sambalpur, he added.
No reports of untoward incidents reached BSE headquarters control room here till evening.
Official sources said the BSE has set up a 69-member flying squad to check irregularities in the centres. In addition, 28 special squads at zonal-level have also been constituted with 10 elite squads to conduct surprise checks. Besides, CCTVs have been installed for the first time at some of the very sensitive centres, prone to malpractice.
The examination centres have also been categorised as A, B and C, depending on their history of malpractice.
The centres tagged as A are the least sensitive, with zero history of malpractice.
Those with tag C would be treated as very sensitive. Around 130 centres have been identified as very sensitive.
From this year, the test syllabus has also been changed. The examinees will have two optional papers in addition to the three language papers, mathematics, science and social science.
For those appearing in the 2008 HSC exams, scheduled from March 26 to April 5, BSE has increased the aggregate marks from 750 to 800.
Optional papers, withdrawn more than a decade ago, have been reintroduced under the new syllabus.
Some of the optional papers, unlike in the past, have practical tests.