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Indian CBSE Imbroglio: Whom to Blame?

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Jagdish Pathak
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Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) paper-leak entanglement was expected as similar incidents have occurred in past with different educational/examination institutions. Now, government of India who directly controls CBSE through its autonomous board is in the deep mess. Students who appeared with or without knowing the leaked questions/answers of the two question papers in the exam are reluctant to reappear in the examination to be conducted again in the leaked papers. Students are on the streets and seeking an answer from CBSE as why they should be punished for the fault of someone else who leaked at the first place.

Who might be those 'leakers? My understanding of the examination system suggests that following people are directly/indirectly connected to the 'leaked'paper and might have allegedly leaked these papers:

1. Since more than one set of question, papers are made by different people teaching the subject and final set is chosen by a committee established for that subject. Here the members of Board of Studies are aware of the question paper finally chosen for a specific subject.

2. Once the final set is sent to the controller of examination for collating and printing, the staff involved in controller office have full access to every paper that is going to be printed.

3. Printing is often 'in-house' where printing staff of the confidential section have full access to every question paper.

4. Internal-security division of CBSE staff members being the supervising staff too have full access to the storage.

5. Once papers are sent to the examination centers in confidence and kept in the safe deposits under security, it is improbable to leak, though not impossible.

6. Papers reach an hour before and opened in the exam center to be distributed to various examination halls. Here opened papers remain in the custody of center staff and some unscrupulous individual might have an opportunity to take photos stealthily and pass it over using various chat groups.

As reported in the media most of the leaked papers were passed on to various 'whatsapp groups' in this last one hour before the exam!! There are coaching institutes that have direct benefits from leakages if done to their students. These institutes have deep pockets to bribe any and everyone as long as they get leaked questions even if these are at the eleventh hour. They organize to see that center staff is paid handsomely if leakages can be arranged.

Someone from the CBI should take this matter very seriously as CBSE pertains to the federal government and instead of Delhi Police.

I hope that Ministry of HRD of the government of India takes some serious introspection because with any government change only its ministers change. Employees are tenured for retirement age. Employees of the government system keep their objective functions intact irrespective of the change in the governments. It is moral-hazard scenario where employees and particularly of the examination center maintaining pecuniary relations with the coaching establishment directly/indirectly MUST be looked into.

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Dr. Jagdish Pathak is an award winning research professor of business policy and systems, An OP/ED contributor, and an avid nature and wildlife photographer settled in Canada. He writes on socio-political contemporary issues faced by under (more...)

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