Under severe pressure following the Plus-Two question paper leakage, the Odisha Government has mooted revision of conduct of examination law to make stringent penal provisions for those found indulging in such activities.
The Higher Education department will approach the State Government for amending the Odisha Conduct of Examination Act, 1988 under which involvement in leakage attracts a punishment of maximum three months jail term. It wants the punishment to be raised to 10 years.
Minister of Higher Education Badrinarayan Patro is likely to announce the details in this connection in the Assembly.
The department took stock of the security measures for the second leg of the examination on Sunday and announced a set of security measures to keep the next phase of examinations free from disturbances. Colleges where mala fide and nefarious activities are reported will face permanent cancellation of permission and affiliation, a meeting decided.
The Mahaling Anchalika Mahavidyalaya near Dharmagarh in Kalahandi, where the Centre Superintendent was arrested for breach of the seal of the chemistry question papers, has been slapped with a show-cause by the department. It has been asked to explain why its affiliation and recognition should not be withdrawn permanently, Principal Secretary, Higher Education department, Gagan Dhal said after the review meeting. The department also shifted the examination centre from the college to another college in Golmunda where the former’s students had appeared for the examination last year.
Similarly, it was decided that the District Collectors will deploy observers for each of the 1,072 centres in their respective jurisdiction. In the presence of the observer and central squad, question papers will be opened just before the examination. After the test is over, the same will be sealed.
Police will be deployed in the centres for the period between the end of the examination and the next day when answersheets are despatched.
The department also came down heavily on private self-financing colleges which have come under scanner for their alleged role in the leakage, thanks to the cut-throat competition. “There will be 24-hour watch on such colleges which have been declared examination centres. The Council of Higher Secondary Education will deploy observers to these colleges who will keep an eye on them,” Dhal said.
The meeting also decided that each centre will have a Deputy Superintendent to assist the centre superintendent irrespective of the candidates’ strength. Earlier, for a centre having more than 200 candidates, a Deputy Superintendent was allowed.
In view of the malpractice, the department has identified 13 districts which are endemic to cheating during examination.
Those include Kalahandi, Nuapada, Balangir, Sonepur, Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Phulbani, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Jharsuguda.