Breaching question paper security was 'team work'

Connivance of PU dept staff not ruled out

How did the mathematics paper in the ongoing II pre-university examination leak? Where did the leakage occur? Who are the suspects?

The Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE) says it takes utmost care while preparing and preserving the question paper. A DPUE official, preferring anonymity, said that the leakage was a “team effort”.

“Given the security measures we adopt, it is almost impossible for an individual to leak the paper. At every stage, right from the drafting to the transportation, we involve teams of senior officers. We are pretty sure that it is a team effort,” the official told Deccan Herald.

For each subject, six separate question papers are drafted by as many teachers drawn from various colleges. The whole exercise is conducted with a supreme degree of secrecy. The teachers who set the question papers have to destroy all the chits and notes after the work. They cannot even keep the draft. Of course, they can memorise the questions.

The teachers hand over the question papers in confidential covers to a DPUE team which is not authorised to open them. The team has to deliver them to the DPUE Commissioner who preserves them at an undisclosed location. The papers are sent for printing about one-and-a-half months before the exam. The printer does not immediately deliver the papers to the DPUE.

Well-placed sources say the DPUE got the printed papers of all the subjects on March 11. It formed teams of route officers to deliver them at the taluk treasuries. Each team consisted of two DPUE officers and a gunman.

The question papers were stuffed in boxes with multiple layers of cloth line covers, polythene bags, cardboards and gunny bags. The boxes were delivered at each treasury in the presence of the jurisdictional tahsildar, the BEO, a senior college principal and the treasury officer. A policeman also accompanied them. A signed acknowledgement for the boxes was also issued to each DPUE team. The boxes were then stored in the treasury’s strong room. They were dispatched to each centre at 7.30 am on the day of the examination.

Sources say the involvement of DPUE officials in the leak cannot be ruled out.
“Some people (of our department) may have connived with outsiders. The leak was 100 per cent and it is impossible without the involvement of DPUE officials,” the officer added.

Students furious

The paper leak left students furious. Many of them were completely unaware of the incident till they reached the examination centres.

Others who knew about the leak through the media did go to the exam hall, not wanting to take a risk. While few believed it to be a mere rumour, many others broke down in disappointment in the exam hall. The thought of having to prepare for the exam all over again unnerved them.

“It was maths and we were already tense. When we learnt that the exam will not be held, it was devastating,” Hitha Shree, a student of St Joseph’s College, said.

Not having a clue about the new exam date created more panic.

“There was so much confusion. Though I learnt about the leak before leaving home, I did go to the exam hall. There was no announcement about the postponement,” Nishitha Vashist, a student of Sri Kumaran PU College, said.

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