Intermediate examinees appear for their first paper at Ursuline Inter College in Ranchi on Friday. (Hardeep Singh)
Matriculation and intermediate exams conducted by the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) began smoothly in Ranchi on Friday, unaffected by both the ongoing statewide strike by non-teaching college employees and an extended capital bandh in response to a trader’s murder.
Ranchi, with the highest number of centres — 106 — for matriculation in Jharkhand, has nearly 44,000 examinees.
For intermediate, 33 centres have been formed for 37,078 candidates across humanities, science and commerce streams.
On Friday, tenth graders opting for either commerce, IT or home science took the test in the first half of the day, starting 9.45am.
According to officials, the number of students is less in these subjects. District education officer M.K. Singh said on Day 1, only eight centres conducted exams for these optional subjects. St Anne’s School and St Margaret School had the highest numbers of students with 255 and 155, while remaining centres had as few numbers as eight, 10 and 18.
Singh paid surprise visits to top two centres. “Everything was peaceful,” he said.
Officials were satisfied with security arrangements also. “Except pen, paper and other items required for exams, nothing was allowed inside the centre. Students and parents were co-operative,” said a security official at St Anne’s.
Thirty policemen guarded the strongroom at the district collectorate when question papers were distributed at centres. Special escort teams ensured the papers were not leaked.
The day’s second half witnessed intermediate exams at 33 centres with sociology or geology as Friday’s papers.
The Ranchi bandh, called to protest the murder of trader Gyan Chand Jain, evoked mixed response. Most shops, eateries and banks were open. But some retail and wholesale establishments at Shaheed Chowk and Upper Bazar were closed. Buses were fewer than normal, but most autos plied.
Many candidates relied on individual cycles, bikes or cars rather than public transport. The matriculation exam ends on March 9 and intermediate on March 15.