Patna: The Bihar School Examination Board has been surprised by a large number of impersonators caught this year in the Class 10 exams that started last Friday.
As many as 279 impersonators have so far been caught and the number is likely to up over the remaining days of the exams, an official of the board said.
"We never expected to nab impersonators on such a large scale. The 'Munnabhai' trend in Class 10 examination is something new. In the past, only a very few fake examinees were caught," an official of Board said.
'Munnabahi MBBS' was a popular Bollywood comedy, released in 2003, in which the protagonist, a ruffian, passes the medical exam by getting a doctor to relay him the right answers in the exam centre via a hidden communication device.
This year, the board has been using strict measures against mass cheating and the use of unfair practices in the Class 10 and 12 exams. Surveillance cameras have been installed at examination centres and 'unlawful assembly' of five or more people banned under prohibitory orders.
"We are worried because the number of impersonators caught is big. It has surprised us," said board chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh.
The board is now taking special care in detecting the fake examinees even before they gain entry into exam centres, Singh said.
"Unlike impersonators caught in government recruitment exams, who are paid large amounts of money, impersonators caught in Class 10 exams are mostly family members, relatives and friends of the registered examinees," he said.
The board is taking action against both: The actual examinee and the person impersonating him or her.
So far, 519 students have been caught cheating in the Class 10 exams across Bihar and dozens of people helping the examinees in cheating have been arrested, said officials.
Nearly 15.70 lakh students are taking the Class 10 exams at 1,309 centres across the state.
The board had put in place similar tough measures for Class 12 exams in which nearly 2,000 students were expelled after they were caught cheating.
The Class 12 exams concluded in first week of March.