PATNA: In a major reform of the system, mass cheating in Bihar may be curbed -and even become a thing of the past -if a plan to use high-tech gadgets and deploy extra security forces at exam centres bears fruit.
Mass cheating has been reported in Bihar for years and had become an annual feature hitting the news in March every year when reports and visuals of guardians and friends helping their wards surface on a regular basis. Ahead of the Class 10 (matric) and Class 12 (intermediate) exams in Bihar in February and March, the education department has directed officials to began preparations for cheating-free exams by installing CCTV cameras and ordering videography and live webcasting of examination centres. Additional security forces are also being deployed.
“We have decided not to tolerate and compromise on this any more. The Grand Alliance-led government is committed to ensure cheating-free exams,” education minister Ashok Choudhary said. He said stern measures would be taken against anyone attempting to cheat. According to education department officials, nearly 14 lakh will appear for intermediate exams from the last week of February and around 15 lakh students will write the matriculation exams in March.
Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, chairman of Bihar School Examination Board, said that CCTV cameras would be installed outside the exam centres and videography would be conducted inside the examination centres.
Thousands of security personnel would be deployed in and outside of examination centres.
Officials said not more than three students would be allowed to sit on a bench during any exam to minimise the chances of cheating. All district magistrates and superintendents of police have been asked to invoke Section 144 of the CrPC and ban illegal gatherings and groups at all examination centre an hour before exams begin.
In addition, parents, guardians, family members and friends will be kept away from the centres. At a high-level meeting chaired by chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh here on Tuesday , it was decided that if cheating is reported from any centre, exams there would be cancelled and action taken against officials and teachers.