Malpractice has gone digital with tech-savvy students

The latest examples of malpractices that have plagued the institutes, educational board and even university in the city is paper leak through social media and social networking sites.

Written by Dipti Singh | Mumbai | Published: March 10, 2016 3:26:21 am
"HSC students appear for their first board paperat an exam centre at R A Podar college, Matunga. The HSC exam began" *** Local Caption *** "HSC students appear for their first board paperat an exam centre at R A Podar college, Matunga. The HSC exam began on Tuesday. Express Photo By Pradeep Kocharekar mumbai-21-02-2012" The paper leak using social media and WhatsApp has raised the demand from some colleges that the state board too ramp up technology to counter it.(Express Photo By Pradeep Kocharekar) 

IN the new age, malpractice too has gone digital. The latest examples of malpractices that have plagued the institutes, educational board and even university in the city is paper leak through social media and social networking sites.

Last week, screenshots of question paper of Book Keeping and Accountancy of the ongoing Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) board exam were found on a mobile phone of a student when he entered the exam hall. This is second time where a state board exam question paper was leaked and circulated on WhatsApp.

Last year too, Book Keeping and Accountancy question paper was leaked on WhatsApp. However despite of taking every necessary precaution, the board failed to prevent the paper leak of the same subject with similar modus operandi this year.

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When approached, chairman of state board Gangadhar Mhamane said, “It is very difficult for me to comment on the paper leak, however, things have gone digital even in this. We are trying our best to trace the source and the cyber crime cell officials are doing their job. It would be wrong on our part to call it a leak.”

However the board officials themselves confirmed that the screenshots on the student’s mobile phone was similar. The board is however awaiting the report of the cyber crime cell of Belapur to assess how many people the question paper was circulated too. They suspect a picture of the paper was clicked a few minutes before the exam and circulated on the social networking sites.

Meanwhile, another board official said, “Earlier, papers were sneaked out of the bundles and photocopies were circulated. After stringent ways to transport and distribute the papers were adopted by the board, leaks became difficult. Now, with the help of technology, it has become easier as people just click a picture and circulate it. That way, the bundle is not tampered with and paper is leaked easily.”

In April 2014, Marketing and Human Resources Management of Mumbai University faced a similar paper leak issue with TYBCom students on WhatsApp. The university had then sent a fresh set of question papers to all the exam centres through a password-enabled email.

However the Mumbai University first faced the evil of digital paper leak in 2012, when it witnessed three incidents of paper leaks through SMS and pictures of the question papers on their mobile phones and through emails.

Colleges too have been restricting employees or staff dealing with question papers to switch off their phones and CCTVs have been installed in the rooms where photocopies of question papers are taken.

“Malpractices have been carried out digitally now. To curb the process, we have fight them with the help of technology itself. After series of leaks, the Mumbai University has adopted e delivery system where question papers are sent to colleges through e-delivery just 45 minutes before exams. We ask our staff to keep their mobile phone away or switch them off. Meanwhile, there are also CCTVs installed to prevent any tampering,” said Dinesh Panjwani, principal of R D National College, Bandra.

Panjwani added, “The state board too must give up the age-old methods and stay ahead of people with mala-fide intentions to prevent paper leak through social media.”

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