The first day of the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) board exams, conducted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), on Thursday, witnessed 46 cases of copying and malpractices.
The highest number of cases were reported from Aurangabad and Nasik. Only one copying case was reported from Latur and no case was reported from Kolhapur division.
The exam went smoothly at exam centres in all divisions across the state. However, principals of many colleges hosting the exams were amazed to see question papers being delivered in autorickshaws.
When approached, the state board officials said that hiring taxis or private vehicles was proving to be expensive, and hence, the central exam centres were instructed to hire autorickshaws to deliver question papers.
A principal of an exam centre in Bandra said, “Till last year, officials who delivered the question papers used to come in private vehicles or cabs, but it was shocking to see them arrive in auto-rickshaws to deliver question papers.”
The officials who delivered the question papers said that the board had barred the hiring of any other vehicle for the purpose.
The police personnel, accompanying the officials delivering question papers, had to sit next to the auto-rickshaw drivers.
“Usually, two to three officials are assigned the task of delivering the question papers from the central exam centre of an area. In private cars or cabs, the three officials used to sit on the backseat while the policeman sat on the front-seat with the driver,” said another principal.
S Chandekar, secretary of the MSBSHSE, Mumbai division, said that as the cabs or private cars had to be hired for the entire day, the expenses incurred were very high.
“We have asked exam centres in suburbs to hire rickshaws to save costs, but in places where they are not available, the chief exam conductors were asked to contact the board office,” said Chandekar.