District collectors may be given an additional charge from next year,that of conducting board exams. With a spurt in malpractices in the Secondary and Higher secondary School Certificate examination this year,the state government is contemplating to hand over the charge of conducting the exams to the respective collectors in the district. Announcing this,State Education Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said he wants to initiate the process from the next academic year. With March 2009 HSC and SSC examinations witnessing an all-time high cases of malpractices 8,541 cases,which is double the number of average cases reported so far over the last few years,the examination board feels the need of greater vigilance in conducting these exams. Even this year,the Pune district collectorate had flying squads helping the board exams. Among the eight divisions in the state,the Nagpur division has topped in the maximum number of cheating cases while Mumbai has reported in the least number of malpractices. The board officials attribute this rise in number because of thorough checking and vigilance. Flying squads and sitting squads have helped in bringing more cases to light,which otherwise would have gone unnoticed but however feel that there is a need of a proper monitoring system,and this would be better done under the collectorate. The education minister who had taken an overview of the situation of the board exams recently said that the reliability of the board exams need to be kept up. With the board carrying out a voluminous task of conducting the task of the HSC and SSC exams of over 30 lakh students every year,the government is considering to conduct these exams in more fair manner. The education department is seeking for expert suggestions.
With the district collectors heading the district vigilance committies,additional powers given to them would help them conduct the exams in a better manner. The minister has assured that a policy decision on the same will be taken before Diwali.