In an apparent, attempt to tighten the noose around incidents of cheating reported widely during examinations, the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) has said that students cannot wear shoes and socks during its matriculation (Class X) exams that begin on February 21. In an advisory issued on Sunday (February 18), the board has ordered students to wear slippers in the exam-hall. The circular, a first of its kind by the board, is set to be followed by about 17.70 lakh students who will be writing their examinations at 1,426 centres, as per a report.
The no-shoes diktat by the board comes after the state government was heavily criticised due to rampant mass cheating in Bihar. Speaking to The Indian Express, BSEB chairman Anand Kishor said that the students cannot wear shoes and socks to examination centres. He cited the examples of other examinations and said that such a practice is already in place in some competitive examinations. He further added that the instructions have been issued to all district education officers, and examination centre superintendents in this regard.
Stating that the board wants to take all possible measures to avoid cheating, a BSEB official told that all examination centres have been installed with CCTV cameras. Admitting that the step might draw flak from various sections, the official said that there is nothing ‘objectionable with the step given the large scale of the examination’.
The examination will conclude on 28 February. Notably, in 2015, the Union HRD ministry had sought a report from Bihar government over the reports of cheating during board examinations in the state. Last year, the Bihar police arrested three persons, including the headmistress of Sanjay Gandhi High School in Samastipur district, in connection with forgery by intermediate arts topper Ganesh Kumar. Kumar was stripped of his intermediate arts topper title for submitting forged documents to appear in Class XII examination.>
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