There is no respite for students appearing for the Central Board of Secondary Education's (CBSE) Class X and Class XII examinations. In the wake of news reports claiming that Mathematics and Economics papers were leaked on WhatsApp, the CBSE has decided to re-conduct the exams for Class X Mathematics and Class XII Economics paper. The new dates for the examinations and other details regarding the re-examination will be hosted on the CBSE website within a week.
In an official order, the CBSE said that it has taken cognisance "of certain happenings in the conduct of certain examinations". It further said that the dates for the fresh examinations and other details will be published on CBSE's website, cbse.nic.in. The reason for the decision was not revealed in the CBSE order. There was panic among students after the reports claiming paper leak surfaced on social media. The Delhi Police's Crime Branch has also begun investigating the alleged leak of the CBSE's Class XII economics paper and registered a separate case in connection with the alleged leak of the Class 10 mathematics paper. Top police officials, on Wednesday evening, also discussed the further line of investigation.
On 15 March, social media was abuzz with reports that the Class 12 accountancy paper had been leaked, with the Delhi government saying it had received complaints about it. This came after the CBSE had denied the claims, saying, "We have checked with all examination centres and the paper was not leaked."
"The source of the circulation of this information is not known yet," the board had said.
Meanwhile, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters that a new "leak-proof” system would be put in place from coming Monday onwards for conducting CBSE exams. "It seems some kind of gang is behind this and it is doing it deliberately. A special team is already investigating the matter and the guilty will not spared,” the minister told reporters as he faced a barrage of questions about the repeated leaks.
Here are the top developments
What the CBSE notice said
The CBSE has taken cognisance of certain happenings in the conduct of certain examinations as are being reported. With the view to uphold the sanctity of the Board Examinations and in the interest of the fairness to the students, the Board has decided to re-conduct the examinations. Dates for fresh examinations and the other details shall be hosted on the CBSE website within a week, a CBSE notice said.
Delhi Police carrying out raids over CBSE paper leak
The Delhi Police Crime Branch is conducting raids at various locations across Delhi, ANI reported on Wednesday. The crime branch set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged leak. The SIT has been formed after the CBSE registered two cases with the Crime Branch. According to media reports, Special Commissioner of Police RP Upadhayay said that the SIT team will be headed by by Joint Commissioner Alok Kumar and will also have other rank officers in the probe.
The SIT team comprising two deputy commissioners of police, four assistant commissioners of police and five inspectors has been set up to investigate the matter. The team will be directly supervised by the joint commissioner of police (crime), PTI reported.
In a statement, the Delhi Police said that they have registered two cases. The first case in connection with the leak of economics paper was lodged yesterday while the case pertaining to mathematics paper was lodged today, following a complaint by the regional director of CBSE. The cases were registered on charges of criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy.
"We have received snapshots of the handwritten paper circulated through Whatsapp from the complainant. We are trying to ascertain the source of these messages. Since Whatsapp messages are end-to-end encrypted, we are facing a bit of difficulty in tracing the source," said an officer privy to the probe. The officer said they have not questioned any official from any of the examination centres or from the board. The questioning will happen once the source of messages is traced.
What Prakash Javadekar said
"We will ensure no injustice is caused. I just want to tell the parents and children that it is extremely unfortunate that this incident(s) happened,” Javadekar said. He said that the "with the help of technology, put in place a system which is so foolproof that there is no leak".
"We have also decided to tighten security for the time when papers are being distributed in the examination centres,” the minister said but did not elaborate the details of the proposed new system.
Javadekar said a new "foolproof" system would be in place from Monday for CBSE board exams. Javadekar said an internal probe was initiated into reports claiming that the papers were leaked. The minister said he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprised him about the developments. "It seems some kind of gang is behind this and is doing it deliberately. A special team is already probing the matter and the guilty will not spared," he told reporters as he faced a barrage of questions about the repeated leaks.
Aam Aadmi Party launches attack on Centre
At least 2.8 million students have been affected due to the CBSE paper leak. Lashing out at the Centre for not taking the issue seriously, the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "gave big lectures to the students on the examination" but the students were "suffering as they will have to reappear". Business Standard quoted party member Alka Lamba as saying that the Centre was "answerable for this". Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia too reacted and called the Centre a 'leakage government'. "First SSC, now CBSE, they also leaked the dates of polls before the Election Commission's official announcement. I am not raising any questions against CBSE's efficiency but the recent leakage is unfortunate...," Sisodia said.
Twitter users went berserk, with some of them venting their anger and displeasure over the CBSE paper leak. Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken tweeted about how his son and many other students have been left dejected because of these reports.
My son Aujaswi studied really hard for #CBSE Class X Board Math Exams held today
His joy of finishing Board Exams was short lived.
He is extremely dejected as the Math paper got leaked& this #LeakingGovt will hold the Exam again
I feel sorry for him as lakhs of other students!
— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) March 28, 2018
Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan questioned whether any exam or selection is "scam-proof" in India.
#Vyapam,AIIMS, #SSC & now #CBSE exam leak through WhatsApp. Is there any exam or selection which is safe&scam proof in India? Even after PM's app leaks our personal data to US firm, our govt tells us that Aadhar data is safe behind thick walls! Incredible!https://t.co/WqWIe8DP6b — Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) March 28, 2018
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala attacked the Modi government and said that it should be renamed as 'Paper Leak Government'.
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????, SSC ???? ??? ?? 2 ????? ???????? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ?? ?? CBSE ????? ? ??????? ?? ???? ??? ???!
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— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) March 28, 2018
Updated Date: Mar 31, 2018 08:59:15 IST