If a candidate is caught indulging in paper-leaking or in the process of circulating a question paper with the help of mobile phones, not only will he/she be debarred from the exam for five years, action will be taken against the individual under cyberlaw. If a candidate is caught copying in an exam by talking to other candidates or by carrying chits, his/her exam for that subject will be rendered null. If the candidate uses any other colour ink, apart from blue or black, the part written in other ink will not be considered for marking. These and several other such regulations will now be read out to candidates appearing for the Maharashtra state board exams scheduled in February and March.
Even as these regulations have existed always, in a first, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has instructed schools to hold mandatory sessions with students appearing for board exams where consequences of different types of malpractices will be read out to them. The idea is to create awareness about dire consequences with an aim to deter them from indulging in copying or any other form of malpractice during board exams.
Ahead of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams, schools have been asked to take students’ signatures after they are informed about the consequences. Schools are expected to keep a copy of all activities held under the initiative and send a report to their respective divisional board office.
A circular issued by the Maharashtra state board on Thursday states, “During board exams, there are different types of malpractices and nine divisions of the Maharashtra state board continue to deal with those at their individual levels along with centrally issued guidelines by the state board headquarters. While there are different initiatives taken to control malpractices during board exams, a new initiative should be added in the list wherein candidates should be made aware of actions to be taken against them if they are found indulging in any malpractice during exam. Considering this, schools and junior colleges are hereby instructed to hold collective reading of the rules and regulations in these cases and if possible, provide students with copies of those for their personal reading.”
The circular addressed to principals of schools and junior colleges is attached with a seven-page document on different types of malpractices and action that can be taken for it as per the board exam rules and regulations. Chairman of the Maharashtra State Board, Sharad Gosavi, said, “This awareness on actions to be taken against them for indulging in malpractices, we believe will deter many students from indulging in any.”
The circular also underlines that during the state board exams, no late entry will be allowed anymore. “For a paper scheduled at 11 am, students will not be allowed entry post 10.30 am and for a paper scheduled at 3 pm, no entry post 2.30 pm,” states the circular. The rule which was introduced during the board examination last year, after multiple instances were reported of question-paper images going viral, has now been made a regular mandate.