A day after being reprimanded by the Patna High Court, the Bihar government today enforced a crackdown and apprehended over 900 people, including students and parents, from different exam centres in the state for cheating in the ongoing matriculation examination.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar admitted that reports of rampant use of unfair means in the ongoing matriculation examination has sullied the image of the state following which he passed strict orders to stop it.
“Pariksha me kadachar ke karan jaghasiyi hui hai…hamne kadachar rokne ke liye karwai ke aadesh diye hai (reports of cheating in examination has drawn bad name to Bihar…I have ordered to stop cheating in ongoing matriculation examination),” Nitish Kumar said.
His order for ensuring cheating-free matriculation examination had its impact today with the police apprehending 213 students and 712 parents, relatives, friends of examinees from different parts of the state, Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Gupteshwar Pandey told PTI.
He said six policemen, four from Vaishali and two from Jamui, were arrested during the day for aiding in cheating during examination at different centres.
A total of 551 examinees have been expelled across the state for using unfair means on a single day today and penalty of Rs 13 lakh imposed, the ADG said.
In Vaishali that had gained notoriety for large-scale use of unfair means and from where came the visuals of parents climbing three to four storeyed building to provide chits to their wards, stringent action was seen during the day.
The ADG said that in Vaishali a total of 81 students were expelled and 161 students, parents and helpers arrested.
One person on exam duty was also nabbed when he was helping in copying in Vaishali while a female official escaped, he said.
Four homeguard jawans were caught and a fine of Rs 3.20 lakh collected in Vaishali district during anti-cheating operations in the day.
With pictures of cheating in exam drawing nation-wide attention, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha today said his ministry would seek a report from Bihar government over reports of rampant cheating during board exams in the state.
“The Union HRD ministry will seek a report from the state on the subject and give guidelines to conduct cheating-free examination,” Kushwaha said.
“The matriculation examinations in the state are being conducted under pathetic conditions,” Kushwaha said.
He slammed state Education Minister P K Shahi for not being able to ensure cheating-free exams and instead putting the onus on parents of examinees on the issue.
“The Patna High Court has rightly said that if the minister has not been able to conduct fair examination he should keep himself away from the responsibility,” he said.
“If he (Shahi) is not competent, he shall make way for others…he shall be asked to do so,” said Kushwaha, who is also the President of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), an ally of BJP in NDA.
A total of 14.26 lakh students were appearing for the exams at 1,217 centres in the state that started on March 17.
The examination would end on March 24.
Principal Secretary Education R K Mahajan told PTI that there has been tremendous impact of strict instructions for holding fair examination today.
Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh spoke to all DMs and SPs through videoconferencing last evening and directed them to initiate strict measures to stop cheating in matriculation examination.
Taken to task by the Patna High Court over large-scale copying in the matriculation examination and widespread criticism from several quarters, the Bihar government had yesterday swung into action and cancelled examination at four centres and took seven policemen into custody for aiding in cheating.
Visuals of widespread copying at exam centres across the state and Bihar Education minister P K Shahi’s argument that state alone could not stop it, had come as a rude shock.
While addressing young entrepreneurs at a function here, Chief Minister Kumar criticised BJP leaders for trying to drive political mileage from reports of cheating in matriculation examination.
He appealed to examinees and their parents to shun use of unfair means as it would not help them in any way.
“One can get a certificate by using unfair means in examination but will not gain knowledge…cheating will not help in any way,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav today criticised Shahi for expressing inability to check unfair means in matriculation examination.
“The minister’s assertion has sullied image of Bihar in the country and the world…the Chief Minister shall remove Shahi from Education department and considering its importance shall bring the department under his direct control,” Pappu Yadav, RJD MP from Madhepura, said.