The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will be re-conducting the class 10 mathematics (code 041) and class 12 economics paper (code 0390) as per the official notification on the website — cbse.nic.in. The new dates for the exams will be uploaded on the website within a week. Exams for both class 10 and 12 started from March 5 and over 28 lakh students are appearing for the same. As per an official, the Delhi Police has registered a case on the alleged leak of Class 12 Economics paper following a complaint by CBSE.
CBSE in a complaint to Delhi Police says it received a fax on March 23 naming a person from Rajinder Nagar behind CBSE paper leak. This person, as per the complaint, runs a coaching institute. As per latest updates, the owner of the coaching centre, a Delhi University passout, used to teach mathematics and economics. He is one of the main suspects, said an official privy to the probe.
RP Upadhyay, Special CP, Delhi Police has said: Two cases registered and SIT has been formed for investigation. A total of 25 people have been questioned so far. Both the papers were leaked on WhatsApp a day before the exam. No person has been arrested so far
Several students have filed a petition against re-conduct of the exam in change.org and an appropriate grading to be given to each student.
Addressing the media, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said security would be increased at exam centres to deal with the leaks. “A new system would be put in place from Monday to ensure no leaks take place and the government would ensure that there is no injustice,” Javadekar said.
He said he was “saddened” by reports that the papers had leaked and asserted that he was confident that the police would investigate and nab the culprits.
Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking to him about the issue, Javadekar said he had been given all the information. The prime minister, he said, had always discussed stress free exams with people. “This is an issue which is very important for him,” he said. The government will, with the help of technology, put in place a system “which is so foolproof that there is no leak”, Javadekar said, adding that his ministry is also conducting an internal probe.
The HRD Minister also said the examinations are conducted across the country but this has been reported only from a few schools in Delhi. Cabinet has approved for National Testing Agency to come into effect from next year to ensure leak-proof examination.
A total number of 16,38,428 students had registered for class 10 exams and for class 12, a total of 11,86,306 students had registered.
The notice issued by the board states, “With the view to uphold the sanctity of the board examinations and in the interest of the fairness to the students, the board has decided to re-conduct the examinations”.
Panic gripped students of class 12 following claims on social media that the economics paper was leaked Monday ahead of the exam even as CBSE denied there was any slip up. “We have checked with all examination centres and the paper was not leaked. The source of the circulation of this information is not known yet. We want to urge the students and parents to not panic and assure them that the board is doing its best to ensure the sanctity of the examination,” a senior CBSE official said. Reports of the question paper being leaked circulated through social media and WhatsApp several hours before the paper commenced.
Students appeared for the Class 10 maths paper on Wednesday while the Class 12 Economics paper was held on March 26. As per the CBSE guidelines, if a leak is proved then the board has to re-conduct the exam. In 2014, the board has to re-conduct the exam in Manipur as the physics paper was leaked on a website. In 2006 too, the Business Studies paper was leaked. Since the papers were recovered before the exam, it was held as scheduled after the paper was replaced.
Students and parents are showering their anger on Twitter. Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken son has also appeared for the exam.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Navita Puri, principal Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM) Ludhiana said, “This year, CBSE had claimed that they are taking double precautions to ensure exams are conducted smoothly. The question papers are kept in bank lockers and there were several other precautions that examination staff was asked to follow which I cannot disclose but even then if paper gets leaked, then it is high time to think for CBSE to think about its functioning. We cannot express in words that what students must be going through. And if the reports of paper leakage were there since Tuesday night, why was it not cancelled? Why were students made to write paper? It was a complete wastage of efforts, time, money and paper. And now hard work of lakhs of students will be thrown in dustbins.”
The opposition has also criticised the Centre. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has also tweeted that the government should fix responsibility.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala sais without removing Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and CBSE Chairperson Anita Karwal from their current positions, a fair and impartial investigation into this paper leak issue is impossible.
Meanwhile, reports suggest some parents and students are planning to move the Delhi High Court over the paper leak. They are claiming that class 10 social studies paper has also been circulated on social media.
A teacher from a reputed school has said that many students have received the economics paper on Whatsapp but were not sure whether it was leaked or not. “Parents want re-test as they feel their child’s future will be at stake. Many students are unhappy with the re-conduct of the exam and anxious about the new dates,” said she.
Many students protested near Jantar Mantar over the alleged paper leak.
According to sources, after CBSE’s complaint, two cases have been registered with the Crime Branch. In the first case, the Board received a complaint through fax on March 23, alleging that a tutor at Rajinder Nagar was involved in the paper leak. It also named two schools in Rajinder Nagar. Later, the CBSE approached the Crime Branch with another complaint on March 26 evening. A case was lodged under IPC sections 406, 420 and 120B.
An officer said CBSE officials may be questioned and the locations where question papers are kept checked. “It is a pan-India investigation. Prima facie the leak appears to be from Delhi, but there is a possibility of involvement of people from other states,” said the officer. When contacted, Delhi Police chief spokesperson Dependra Pathak said, “The investigation requires a broad inquiry and the Crime Branch will do it professionally.”