Government red-faced after another paper leak
The State Government found itself in an embarrassing situation in the Assembly on Friday when members cutting across party lines took the Higher Education Department to task for the repeated question paper leaks of Plus-Two science examination.
Speaker Pradip Amat asked Minister of State for Higher Education Badrinarayan Patro to make a statement on the question paper leak on Monday even as the Congress members sought Patro’s resignation. The Congress members, who wanted an assurance that no such leak would recur in future, staged a walkout when the Speaker directed the Minister to give a statement.
Thousands of students have been put to immense mental tension because of the failure of the Minister to conduct the examination in a smooth manner, Santosh Singh Saluja (Cong) said, raising the issue during the afternoon session and demanded his immediate resignation.
Saluja alleged that after the physics question paper leak on Thursday, there were reports of chemistry question paper leak on Friday as a result of which the Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) has rescheduled the examinations for both the subjects.
Question paper leaks were not confined to science subjects alone, the Congress member alleged and said that there was leak of English question paper on March 4. A racket is working, he said, pointing out that physics question paper was available in the market for `5,000.
His party colleague and Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan said this has not happened for the first time in the past two years. A Crime Branch inquiry was also held into the last question paper leak, but where is its report, he asked and wanted to know what steps the State Government has taken on the recommendations of the Gopalaswamy Committee to streamline the system.
The two Congress members were supported by Pradip Maharathi (BJD). The State Government should not take the issue lightly, Maharathi said and demanded strong action against those responsible for question paper leak. Referring to the mushrooming of private Plus- Two colleges, Maharathi said all of them achieve 100 per cent results and 97 per cent pass in the first division. The Minister should immediately assure the members that question paper leaks would not be repeated, he said.