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Remaining Class XII papers postponed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 18
Within a day of having postponed four of the remaining papers of Class X, the Punjab School Education Board today postponed all remaining Class XII papers as well. The decision was taken following leakage of the Class XII question papers this morning, hours before the exam was due to begin this afternoon.

The board has also cancelled the political science paper held today. The reconduct of the cancelled and postponed papers of both Class X and XII will begin on March 30. The reconduct of these examinations is going to cost the board an additional Rs 15 lakh.

The papers that have been postponed include elective Punjabi (204)/Hindi (205)/elective English(206)/Urdu (207), Bengali, Gujrati, Kannad, Marathi, Malyalam, Manipuri, Oriya, Asssamese, Sindhi, Tamil and Telegu to be held on March 19; computer applications (234) to be held on March 20; home science (228) to be held on March 22; Sanskrit (208)/ Persian (236) German, French, Russian, Arabic to be held on March 24; religion (219), history of appreciation of arts (231) to be held on March 25; defence studies (226)/ music (Tabla 222) to be held on March 26; philosophy (217), geometrical perspective and architectural drawing (230) to be held on March 26; philosophy (217), geometrical perspective and architectural drawing (230) to be held on March 27; rural development and environment(232), music (instrumental 221) to be held on March 29; gurmat sangeet (223) to be held on march 31; business organisation and management (213) to be held on April 1; book keeping and accountancy(214) to be held on April 2 and music vocal (220) to be held on April 5. There is no change in the conduct of the Class XII vocational subjects examinations that ended today.

While ordering an internal preliminary inquiry into the leakage of question papers, the board Chairman, Dr Kehar Singh, informed that two separate FIRs for Class X and Class XII had been lodged with the local police to look into the matter. The SP Mohali, Mr Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who visited the board today will be investigating the cases. The Chairman said that unlike Class X, where a complete set of questions papers had gone missing, there was no information available regarding the source of leakage of Class XII question papers. He added that the possibility of active connivance of board employees or the examination conducting staff posted at the various centres could not be ruled out. ‘‘The matter is with the police and will be also discussed at the monthly meeting of the board scheduled for tomorrow,’’ he said.

Dr Kehar Singh informed that the tentative date for starting re-conduct of the examinations was March 30 at the earliest. ‘‘The questions papers will be reset, reprinted and re-distributed,’’ he said. Other than costing the board an additional Rs 15 lakh, the re-conduct of the examinations will lead to a delay in the results,’’ he said.

Giving details of today's paper leakage, sources in the board said that a faxed copy of the political science question papers was received at the board this morning, hours before the examination was due to begin at various centres at 2pm.

The paper was immediately cancelled and while examination conducting staff at some centres received the information in time to stop the students from going through the whole exercise of appearing in a cancelled paper, at many places where no information was received, the paper was conducted as scheduled. At many other centres confusion prevailed throughout the evening and information about the cancellation of the examination was received after the examination was over.

Meanwhile, parents of Class X students and school principals have objected to the board cancelling the mathematics paper on March 15. The board Chairman said that he too had received a large number of representations from various places to reconsider the cancellation of the mathematics paper. ‘‘We may reconsider the cancellation,’’ he said. A Principal of a local school in Mohali reportedly has also threatened to take the board to court if the board does not reconsider the cancellation of the mathematics examination.

Meanwhile, the board has also recommended the filing of an FIR at Gurdaspur regarding the set of question papers that went missing from a centre there. This packet contained all the possible codes of Class X question papers of all subjects and is believed to be the source of the leakage.

When questioned about rumours regarding the Punjab Vigilance Bureau also starting an inquiry into the matter, the Chairman stated that there was no such thing. “Why should the Vigilance get into this?” he said. The Chairman also clarified that no action would be taken against the Controller of Examinations for the incidents of leakage of question papers.

“It is not her fault. It can happen anywhere. If the IIM papers can leak, where the scale of the examination is not so large, then why cannot it happen here where hundreds of centres and at least one lakh examination staff is involved?” he said.

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