LUCKNOW: With an almost controversy-free run of examinations for classes 10 and 12 in the previous academic year, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday sought to keep its run going by announcing that the National Security Act (NSA) would be invoked against those caught cheating or aiding and abetting cheating during examinations.
Reiterating the government’s resolve to rid the state’s education system of the cheating mafia, Deputy chief minister Dr Dinesh Sharma, who also holds the secondary and higher education ministry’s portfolio, said: “Strict action will be taken against those who run syndicates of copying and aid the use of unfair means during board exams, change answer sheets, leak question papers and resort to other mass-copying.”
Board exams for classes 10 and 12 are set to commence on February 7. As a fall out of the strict measures introduced this year, registrations for the 2019 examinations witnessed a sharp fall of about 10 lakh students as compared to last year.The deputy CM also cautioned school managements against colluding with the cheating mafia.
The Yogi Adityanath government, he said, had taken a lot of steps to check cheating. “We are committed to eradicate this anomaly completely from the education system,” said the deputy CM adding that after a strict vigil, use of unfair means was curtailed and the number of students studying in government schools had increased by 18-20 per cent.
While a district-wise list of cheating-prone centres was ready with the examination authorities, at sensitive exam centres, Aadhaar of students was linked with registration, he added. “We have sought reports from districts and will take every step to check cheating in upcoming examinations,” said Sharma. He also claimed that examination centres in the state, which reported maximum cases of cheating in the past, would be strictly monitored.
“Last year, the precedent was set. We had caught the copying mafia and strict action against them was taken under stringent laws,” said a senior education department officer.Last year, a strict vigil was maintained on suspicious centres. As a result, 67 persons were arrested in total, a press which printed answer sheets was unearthed in Jaunpur, while a gang involved in leaking a question paper was busted in Hardoi. Impersonators were also caught in Kaushambi and Aligarh.