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Third eye at sensitive centres

An HS examinee last year

More than 100 centres for Madhyamik and Higher Secondary exams tagged sensitive will be under video surveillance this year.

Senior officials of the state government, including the chief secretary, home secretary, transport secretary, senior officers of police and officials of the Madhyamik board and the Higher Secondary (HS) council met on Monday to draw up a plan for conducting both the examinations smoothly. Madhyamik exams are scheduled to be held from February 24 to March 6 and the HS from March 12 to 28.

A list of sensitive examination centres has been finalised and placed before the chief secretary, sources said.

“There are 2,661 examination centres across Bengal for Madhyamik. About 56 of them have been identified as sensitive,” said Kalyanmoy Ganguly, administrator, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.

Centres where there is a possibility of assembly of too many outsiders during the exams and where there have been instances of cheating have been listed as sensitive, a source said.

“We have urged the administration to take special precaution and maintain strict vigil in and around the sensitive centres,” Ganguly said.

Education minister Bratya Basu had said last week that the Madhyamik board and the HS council would arrange for video recording of exam proceedings at the sensitive centres to stop students from cheating. He had also warned that candidates caught using unscrupulous means could be arrested.

“The government has advised that the examination centres marked sensitive should have the examination proceedings recorded,” said an official present at the meeting.

The police have been asked to deploy women officers on the school premises. “In case of a law and order problem, there might be the need for women officers,” said a senior cop.

Steps will also be taken to ensure safe custody of question papers and answer scripts, a source said.

As in previous years, use of loudspeakers will be prohibited from three days before the start of the examinations till the end.

Photocopying centres within 100 metres of examination centres will remain closed during the examinations. There will be uninterrupted power supply and the government will ply additional buses on most routes during the examinations, the source added.