The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct re-examination of the Class XII Economics paper on April 25, the government announced Friday in the wake of growing outrage over leak of question papers. The Class X Mathematics paper may be held in July, but only in Delhi NCR and Haryana. Speaking to reporters, School Education Secretary Anil Swarup clarified that the Class XII re-examination was only meant for students in the country and not those studying in CBSE-affiliated schools abroad. The government, he said, was confident that the latter were unaffected by the Economics paper leak. The HRD Ministry, Swarup said, had reasons to believe that the Mathematics paper leak was restricted only to Delhi NCR and Haryana, which is why the Board, if at all there is a decision to hold re-examination, will not ask all 16,38,428 Class X students to reappear for the paper. The final decision will only be taken after a detailed inquiry, he said. Justifying the difference in the government’s response to the two paper leaks, Swarup said that the decision to hold nationwide re-examination for the Class XII Economics paper was taken to ensure that students do not face any trouble in securing admission to colleges and universities based on their Board performance.
While the government can wait for the police to wrap up its investigation into the Class X paper leak, it cannot afford any delay in case of Class XII students, he said. “There are no perfect answers available. We are going by the information we have,” he said. The Ministry denied allegations of the examination process being compromised for any other subject, especially the Class XII Accountancy paper. “We have verified each and every complaint. In each case, it was found that the papers purported to be leaked were not leaked,” Swarup said. In a move that had stunned several hundred thousand students and parents, the CBSE Wednesday announced that re-examination will be conducted across the country for Class X Mathematics and Class XII Economics papers. The re-test, the Board had said, was being done to “uphold the sanctity of the board examination and in the interest of fairness to students”, and “taking cognizance of certain happenings in the conduct of examinations”.
On Friday, Swarup laid down the timeline of how CBSE chairperson Anita Karwal discovered that the Class X Mathematics papers may have been leaked. Karwal, he said, received an email with the purportedly leaked paper at 1.29 am on March 28, which she opened at 8.55 am the same day after she reached office. The chairperson then forwarded the email to the Controller of Examination who confirmed that substantial number of questions in the email were similar to the actual question paper. The confirmation, however, only came after the students had started writing the paper. “The exam could not have been stopped at that time,” Swarup said.
Asked why the Board first denied allegations of leak of the Economics paper, only to announce a re-test later, Karwal said, “The information given on the day of the (Economics) examination turned out to be incorrect. But, subsequently, students wrote emails with more evidence and the police believe that there is reasonable suspicion that the paper may have been leaked a day before the (Economics) exam.”