No more question paper leaks, promises minister Tanveer Sait

 Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait said there will be no question paper leaks or any malpractice during the coming SSLC and PU exams.

He made this statement in the Legislative Assembly when the Karnataka Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was taken up for consideration on Monday. The Bill has made certain changes in the Education Act to ensure stringent action against those involved in exam-related malpractices. The Bill was passed in the House after much debate.

The minister said certain measures have been taken to ensure that question papers are not leaked like they were in the previous years. “I assure students and parents that there would be no irregularities during the forthcoming exams. However, I can’t divulge all security details at this juncture,” he added.

The minister said the government has already announced that educational institutions indulging in exam malpractice would be blacklisted. A revised scheme of evaluation has been introduced. It is being contemplated to hire bank lockers to safeguard question papers before they are sent to exam centres. This is in addition to government treasuries, he added.

However, a section of the BJP and JD(S) members felt the Bill was not well thought out since it focuses on punishing people after the leakage rather than preventing it.

BJP’s Suresh Kumar said there was no need for amending the law. “What is required are ethics and integrity. Is the government aware at what stage question papers are being leaked? Why not take preventive measures?” he asked.

Endorsing a similar view, JD(S) member Y S V Datta said question papers were leaked from the treasury last year. Even big educational institutions are involved in the racket to ensure they get cent per cent results, he pointed out.

Replying to them, Sait admitted that some institutions and coaching centres are also involved. A stringent law is required to deter people from indulging in irregularities. “Even treasuries are part of the government. Certain steps like installing cameras in treasuries and biometric system for treasuries have been initiated. A day may come when questions papers are directly transmitted to examination halls,” he added.

The Bill has made provisions to make exam-related malpractices criminal acts attracting imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of Rs 5 lakh or both.

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