Policemen in Alipurduar College. (Anirban Choudhury)
Alipurduar, July 29: Over 100 School Service Commission examinees who had their centre at Alipurduar College were told not to appear for test by the principal, which sparked confusion and delayed the test by 10 minutes today.
The students got extra time to to finish their three-hour papers.
According to some examinees, 125 SSC candidates got admit cards with mistakes in their names and wrote to the regional office of the School Service Commission in Malda requesting that the errors be corrected.
In the last three days, the regional office issued fresh admit cards via email and the candidates were told to download them and produce the computer-generated cards at the exam centres.
But today when the 125 candidates went to Alipurduar College for their exams, the authorities did not let them enter.
The examination was supposed to start at 11am.
When the candidates started protesting and threatened to stop the exam, college authorities informed police and a force from Alipurduar reached the spot around 10.50am.
College principal Subrata Panchanan said he had not been informed by the Malda office about the 125 candidates. “The SSC authorities asked me to make arrangement for 887 candidates and I did that. We did not have any information about these (125) candidates,” he said.
The examinees and some of the guardians, however, said Panchanan had created the confusion “intentionally”.
“The principal created the problem intentionally. Around 10.45am, he said the candidates who have downloaded their admit cards will not be allowed to write the test. The college was aware (of the 125 candidates), otherwise how did they manage to get 125 question papers in 10 minutes?” Tushar Ghosh Dastidar, a guardian, said.
Panchanan, however, said: “The questions were sent after the confusion.”
Ashoke Jana, a member of the SSC, northern region, said: “The deputy magistrate of Alipurduar asked the college principal verbally to allow the 125 candidates, who had computer-generated versions of admit cards, to write the exams. But he was adamant. He asked deputy magistrate to give the instruction in writing. But we did not have enough time. We had informed all the centres.”
The SSC examination scheduled to be held at the Malda Women’s College centre today was cancelled as the number of question papers sent there was less than required.
College sources said 489 candidates were set to appear for Bengali (pass) paper today. “Despite calling the SSC authorities several times, they did not send the question papers. Around 2pm, we were told to declare the exam cancelled,” principal Chaitali Chattoraj said.
Six examinees at Malda’s Barlow Girls’ High School centre could also not start the exams on time because of shortage of question papers. They were later given xerox copies of the questions.
The chairman of the SSC, Chittaranjan Mondal, said: “We will announce the exam date later and about 50,000 candidates will write the exam afresh in north Bengal.”