| Student activists of AIDSO demonstrate against Plus Two question paper leak outside Badri Narayan Patra’s residence in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee |
Bhubaneswar/Cuttack, March 9: The Odisha government has decided to deploy observers from district administrations concerned to prevent the leakage of any more question papers during the ongoing Plus Two examinations.
In a high-level meeting today, the department also decided to implement round-the-clock security at all exam centres till the exams got over.
The Council of Higher Secondary Education has cancelled the physics and chemistry exams of the ongoing Plus Two examinations, following reports of question paper leak.
“The district administration will send observers in whose presence the iron chests containing question papers would be opened. The packets would also be opened in the presence of the observers and after obtaining their signatures. The answer papers would also be collected and sealed in the presence of the observers,” said council chairman G.S. Ray.
The centre superintendent of Mahalinga Anchalika College at Dharmagarh in Kalahandi district has been arrested by police after the flying squad deployed by the council found the chemistry question packet opened.
The flying squad had raided the college last night following a tip-off. Exam superintendent Bijay Jena is being interrogated. An FIR has been lodged and the packets have been seized in presence of a magistrate, the police said.
Besides a crime branch probe, the higher education department has also ordered an internal inquiry.
A four-member team of the state crime branch has begun interrogating council officials about modalities of despatch of question papers to 1,074 examination centres. Investigators would scrutinise the number of packets issued to each examination centre.
“We have asked all centres to return the chemistry question paper packets to the council in the same shape that they had received. If anybody had tampered with the chemistry question packet, they can be tracked down,” said Ray.
The council authorities also assured that the exams would be rescheduled in a manner that it did not clash with competitive examinations such as the JEE (main), the preliminary test of two-stage IIT entrance scheduled for April 7.
Council of Higher Secondary Education had dispatched physics, chemistry, English and modern Indian language (MIL) question papers to 1,070 examination centres across the state in the first phase. Besides chemistry and physics, it is suspected that the questions of MIL and English papers were also leaked. Sources said the leakage was being traced from areas in western Odisha.
At least 50 students of the Democratic Students’ Organisation were arrested while trying to forcibly enter the residence of higher education minister Badri Narayan Patra demanding his resignation in connection with the leakage of question papers.
On the other hand, nearly 200 students were booked for malpractice on the last day of the matriculation examination taking the number of students booked this year to 8,497.
Board of Secondary Education officials said 4,818 regular and 3,678 ex-regular students were booked for malpractice this year. Over 10,000 students were caught for resorting to unfair means during the examination last year.
Board president Dakhsya Prasad Nanda said results of the matriculation examination were likely to be published around April end or May beginning.