PATNA: The 17.70 lakh students of class X in Bihar’s government schools who would sit for their matriculation examinations starting from Wednesday cannot wear shoes and socks in the examination halls. They can wear only slippers, as per an order issued by Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB).
The measure, introduced for the first time in the state, aims at eliminating the scourge of cheating at school and college examinations in Bihar. BSEB on Monday communicated the new guidelines to all district education officers (DEO) and examination centre superintendents even as the Opposition parties protested the move and demanded its immediate revocation.
In the intermediate (class XII) examinations held statewide earlier this month, as many as 985 examinees were expelled for using unfair means and 25 were arrested for impersonating others.
“Students appearing in matriculation examinations at 1,426 centres in the state cannot wear shoes and socks. They can wear slippers. If they come wearing shoes and socks, they will have to take them off and keep outside the examination halls,” said BSEB chairman Anand Kishore, who issued the guidelines.
Asserting that there is nothing “unusual or wrong” in the move, he said: “Such practices are already in place at the national level in a number of competitive examinations. This will prevent examinees from using unfair means”.
“Bihar has been defamed for long for cheating in examinations. We want to put an end to it. Since more than 17 lakh students are appearing in the board examinations, it is difficult to check each one,” said education minister Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma.
He rubbished the protests by the Opposition RJD and Congress, who dubbed the move as “mental torture” of students and demanded its immediate revocation, as “unnecessary politicking”.
“BSEB must concentrate on providing excellent studies and conducing fair examinations instead of issuing such outlandish guidelines. It is like a new, unseemly dress code for examinations and must be immediately withdrawn,” said former education minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chaudhary.
Former deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav said: “This measure is nothing but mental torture to students… The board may one day ask them to take off their clothes”. Former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, an ally of the ruling NDA, said: “Such measures will put psychological pressure on young students. There are better ways to check unfair means. The government must crack down on the cheating mafia”.