KOLKATA: After Bengali and English, photos of History purported question papers were circulated on social media on the third day of the class 10 board examinations in West Bengal, a senior education official said.
Three candidates were disqualified for the entire examinations after they were found taking photographs of the question papers on mobile phones, discreetly brought into the centre, and circulating the images on WhatsApp minutes after the commencement of the examination on Monday, the official said.
The three candidates, belonging to two schools in Malda district, had tried to blur the unique and distinct QR code secretly embossed on every sheet of the question paper, but still could not escape detection, he said.
An estimated 9,23,045 candidates wrote their papers at 2,675 centres across the state during the day.
On the previous two days of the class 10 board examinations, which began on February 2, a total of 14 candidates were similarly penalised, 12 for circulating English papers on February 3 and two for forwarding Bengali papers through social media on February 2, the official of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education said.
With this, a total of 17 candidates have been disqualified from the class 10 board examinations this year, with a staggering 16 hailing from Malda district and one from Jalpaiguri district.
Board president Ramanuj Ganguly had earlier expressed concern over the trend and alleged that "some individuals were exploiting children to tarnish the state government's image and disrupt the examination process".
He urged "those behind such acts" to reconsider their actions, emphasising the potential damage to the candidates' future.
BJP leader Shankudeb Panda, in a press conference, alleged that the TMC government has reduced the entire secondary examination system to a farce and held it responsible for "question paper leaks" during consecutive examinations.
He demanded a probe by central agencies into the way examinations are being conducted in the state, while asserting that instead of penalising the candidates, the Board should punish officials conducting the examinations at the centres where the incidents were reported.