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Ahead of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) exams for Class X and XII, the state education department in a bid to check growing incidents of mass copying may install around 28,000 CCTV cameras in examination centres across the state. These CCTV cameras will be installed on a rental basis. Tenders have already been invited by the PSEB on installation of CCTV cameras. The exams are scheduled to start from March.
According to sources in the PSEB, the department earlier had decided to install CCTV cameras only in a few examinations centres which were identified to be more prone to cheating, but now, the department will install cameras in all the centres.
“There will be 2,800 examination centres and in each centre at least 10 rooms are required to accommodate students who will appear for the exams. If the department goes for CCTV surveillance in each examination room, then at least 28,000 CCTV cameras will be required,” said a senior officer in PSEB office, adding that the work may be outsourced.
“If Uttar Pradesh, which has a much larger number of students can manage CCTV surveillance in all the centres, then why cannot Punjab,” said a senior officer.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Independent School Alliance (PISA) has written a letter to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and have urged him to withdraw the decision. In the letter, they have stated that the government ex-treasury will be burdened by over Rs 6 crore if such cameras are installed.
The letter has been signed by PISA president Jagdish Rai Sharma and other senior office bearers including Dr Rajwinder Kumar. They further mentioned that they are against cheating and are ready to give full support to the government on this issue, but the government didn’t seek any support from them.
PISA also forwarded the copies of the letter to all senior Congress leaders including party president Rahul Gandhi. They claimed that Punjab Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary is equally responsible for this step which is creating a fear among the private schools and heads of government schools. Despite repeated attempt, Chaudhary didn’t answer the phone nor replied to the message.