NEW DELHI: A red-faced Central Board of Secondary Education on Wednesday announced that examinations for Class X Mathematics and Class XII Economics papers will be re conducted throughout the country, dates for which will be announced within a week.
The announcement comes amid allegations that these papers had been leaked over mobile messaging app WatsApp and were widely circulated ahead of the examinations.
The CBSE, however, had earlier categorically denied the charges of paper leak, which started with Class XII Accountancy paper on March 15, saying it was just rumour mongering being done by miscreants to spread panic among students.
It had reiterated the same stand publicly on Monday, the day when Class XII Economics paper was held despite reports of leak.
On Wednesday, as the handwritten questions from class X Mathematics paper, that had got widely circulated from the night before, matched with the paper that Class X students wrote, the board conceded that there had been a leak.
“Board has taken cognisance of certain happenings in the conduct of certain examinations as are being reported. With the view to uphold the sanctity of Board examinations and in the interest of fairness to the students the Board has decided to reconduct the examinations of the following subjects,” the CBSE said in a notice. “Dates for fresh examinations and other details shall be hosted on the CBSE website within a week.”
Barely an hour after the CBSE announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed extreme unhappiness over the reported leaks in a chat with Human Resources Development minister Prakash Javadekar, said sources in the government.
Javadekar, later told the reporters that the government had “seriously taken into consideration the issue of paper leaks and it looks like some organised gangs are doing it deliberately”.
He also hinted that prima facie it looks like the leaks have happened from Delhi.
“We are sure that whosoever is doing such things will be identified and nabbed soon. Also, from Monday, we are trying to introduce a system which is completely leak proof and leaves no chance of malpractices anywhere,” he said.
Sources in the Board conceded that the decision to call for fresh examination was taken after it became impossible to cover-up glaring bloopers that had appeared on the social media.
“It’s a very embarrassing situation as even though there had been some rumours of paper leak in the past—it had not come to the situation in last several years that Board examination needed to be re organised,” said a senior official. “It puts question mark on our credibility and ability to ensure fairness in this age of social media.”
Students and parents, meanwhile, dubbed the CBSE decision as unfair.
“ I don’t want the CBSE to re-conduct the examination. My daughter worked really hard for her paper. Why should our children suffer because of faults on the part of the Board?” said a parent of Class 12 student of Ryan International School , Gurugram.
“The decision is totally unfair to honest students,” Krish Malhotra, Class 10 student of Venkateshwar International School, Dwarka in Delhi said.