Students who were found possessing copies of leaked SSC question papers before their exams will face stringent action, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education said on Saturday, sounding the warning a day after eight school students were sent to a juvenile home after being booked in a question paper leak case.
“We have received similar complaints, not just in Amboli, where students received images of question papers ahead of exams. Once the law takes its course, we will begin our action. Students can’t get away with such malpractices,” said Subhash Borse, the in-charge secretary of the Mumbai division of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
Borse said an internal inquiry committee, which looks into cases of copying, has started looking into the students’ roles in the paper leak on social media. Last week, at least three schools found students possessing images of question papers on their mobile phones minutes before the exams. A Kalyan school found pictures of question papers that 12 students had received on WhatsApp on the mobile phones. A school in Amboli found that a student had images of a question paper on Instagram.
All the students were allowed to take the remaining exams, but the Amboli police on Friday apprehended eight students and sent them to a juvenile home. They were released on bail on Saturday. School exam board officials said the students will face further action from the board. “Depending on the seriousness of the students’ involvement, the punishment is determined according to the rules of the state board. The minimum is when the student’s result is withheld and (he/she) is barred for three consecutive attempts at re-examination,” said Shakuntala Kale, chairperson of the school board in Pune. The maximum punishment is to bar the student from five re-examination attempts.
The inquiry committee is likely to submit its report in a month. “A decision on the future of the students is expected a couple of days before the results are announced,” Borse said. Meanwhile, an inquiry is underway on the role of permanently appointed teachers in the leak. Last year, an eight-member committee had looked into the question paper leaks and made a flurry of recommendations to curb leaks, some of which were implemented this year.