Free tablets, laptops fuel copying in Board exams

Enrolment figures on rise since launch of scheme

Uttar Pradesh government’s offer of free tablets to every high school pass out and free laptop to every intermediate pass out has not only sharply increased enrolment figures but has also fuelled copying in the ongoing state board exams.

Reports of copying have been pouring from different parts of the state since the examinations began early this month.

There have also been reports of violent clashes outside the examination centres.
In one such clash near Sanoga Inter College in Aligarh district a few days back, an off-duty Shashastra Suraksha Bal (SSB) jawan was killed after he allegedly provided material for copying to someone from his village.

People from another village protested, triggering a clash and an exchange of fire between them and the SSB man’s death.

Districts like Kaushambi, Ghazipur, Ballia, Jaunpur and some others in the eastern region and a few districts in the western region are infamous for mass copying.
Students from outside also appear at the examination centres hoping to easily clear exams by unfair means.

UP board officials also admit that the offer of free tablets and laptops have made the high school and intermediate examinations quite prestigious.

“Now every student wants to clear the examinations and he is ready to do anything, from offering bribe to intimidation,” an officer said.

Officials said around 65 lakh students were appearing this year for high school and intermediate examinations.

The numbers indicate a sharp jump from the last year’s figure which was around 60 lakh.

The state government is currently distributing free laptops to 35 lakh students who had cleared inter in 2012.

Free tablets will also be distributed to around 15 lakh students who had passed the high school examination in the same year.

Board officials said an increase of a mere one per cent in the successful students could entail an additional burden of over Rs 50 crore on the state exchequer.

Given the extent of copying in the ongoing examinations, the financial burden on the state government could increase significantly.

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