Question leakage: Where the system goes wrong?

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Dr K Nabachandra Singh

It is quite disturbing to see in local dailies that the Physics Question Paper on the 5th April 2017 of the on-going Higher Secondary Exam conducted by the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur leaked through WhatsApp. Some of the culprits are reported to have been pulled up by the cyber Crime Branch of Police. Let the law of the land take its own course. On 31st March too, fake Chemistry Question paper also went viral through WhatsApp and it must have caused irreparable damage to a lot of students who want to get good marks with little labour. Some unscrupulous elements may be working behind this misadventure.

An analytical approach to dig deep into the root cause of this issue of Question leakage will be highly essential and it can be handled it certain procedures are followed as a preventive measure. The whole drama unfolds some 20-30 minutes ahead of the examination. Within this short period, only Council Authorised Persons can have access to. This essentially consists of Supervisor, O.C., A.O.C, S.I.,- Invigilators and student / Club representatives duly authorised by the Council. Naturally therefore somebody from amongst the authorised persons should have given the outreach through their mobile phone from the confidential room. Those who are overtly or covertly playing this dirty game are liable to be dealt with a stern hand as they are the originator of all these crimes. Some of the guardians, instead of discouraging such mischief, are found extending a helping hand.

Below are given some suggestions to curve the malpractices arising out of leakage through WhatsApp. Any examination conducting agency, Board/Council may please study the practicability of the steps given hereunder :-
1. The O.C., A.O.C, S.I., Invigilator or whoever engaged for the examination purpose should reach at least 50-60 minutes ahead of the examination schedule. All their mobile phones should be deposited, in switched off mode, with O.C. on their arrival. The O.C. and the Supervisor of the examination Centre should be fully responsible for any leakage thereof before the conduct of the exam.

2. Candidates should be advised to handover their mobile phones to the guardians. No candidate should be allowed entry with mobile phone. This should be well circulated beforehand through print and electronic media.
3. In case a candidate has nobody to hand over the phone, the school with the help of security /employee may issue 2 slips of the same number bearing the seal of the school – one to be given to the candidate and another to be pasted on his phone. The phone will be paid back on producing the identical slip.

4. Late entry after the strike of the final bell should be discouraged. A notice to this effect should be circulated before the start of the exam. It may also be incorporated in the body of the admission card.

5. A register may be maintained wherein the roll no, name of student, reason for late arrival are recorded. (Some students and their guardians are reported to be discussing the leaked questions with the help of tutors late up to 10:30 am) The O.C., S.I,, A.S.I., & Invigilators should keep a closed watch on these exceptionally late students even if they are permitted entry.

6. Students’ organisations/Club members who are authorized by the Council and who want to oversee the smooth conduct of examination should be allowed entry only after an hour or so. The reason being, the invigilators have to complete certain formalities of identification of candidates, putting the signature of the candidates on attendance register, signature of invigilator etc. They may be allowed to move around and report their observation to either O.C. or Secretary of Council for necessary action. Prompt necessary action should be initiated when adverse remarks / observations are given. Entry inside the examination hall should however be avoided.

7. The Council authorities should arrange at least 2/3 meetings with O.C.’s Supervisors, S.I.’s to thrash out any practical problem that may crop up.

The first 4 steps are adopted in examinations conducted by MPSC / UPSC. If the above measures are taken up with sincerity of purpose the ugly scene of question leakage through WhatsApp may be eliminated.

Source: The Sangai Express

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