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41 students disqualified for entering class 12 board exam halls with phones in Bengal

President of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Examinations, Chiranjib Bhattacharya, revealed that while the candidature of two students was scrapped on February 29, while the remaining 39 were disqualified on previous dates.
Last Updated 29 February 2024, 15:40 IST

Kolkata: In all, 41 students were disqualified after they were found in possession of mobile handsets during the class 12 board exams in West Bengal, an official said on Thursday.

President of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Examinations, Chiranjib Bhattacharya, revealed that while the candidature of two students was scrapped on February 29, while the remaining 39 were disqualified on previous dates.

State Education Minister Bratya Basu said four non-teaching employees were found to be involved in aiding the errant candidates in adopting unfair means during the exams and the council is in the process of taking disciplinary actions against them.

Basu also hinted at the possibility of a miniscule number of more employees being involved in such illegal activities, which might be aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the state government or for financial gains.

"A handful of such employees might be involved in such illegal exercise, which might be aimed to show the state government and exam conducting authorities in poor light or for financial gains," he added.

Basu expressed concerns about a potential conspiracy to defame and destabilise the exam process in the state, referencing instances where the opposition had raised fake reports of question paper leaks.

He highlighted the vigilance of the police, administration, and the general public in thwarting such attempts to create chaos.

Regarding the disqualification of candidates found with mobile phones, Bhattacharya emphasized that while the council does not wish to ruin their futures, they must learn from their mistakes and adhere to exam rules in the future.

He also mentioned the arrest of a person for circulating a fake question paper on social media and soliciting money from candidates and their guardians.

In efforts to enhance exam security, Bhattacharya said 350 metal detectors were deployed at sensitive exam centres during this year's exams, with plans to further scale up security measures next year.

The non-teaching employees implicated in aiding malpractice were from schools located in Malda, Murshidabad, Uttar Dinajpur, and Jalpaiguri.

This year's Class-12 board examination saw an estimated 7,89,867 students appearing, with next year's exams scheduled from March 3 to March 18.

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(Published 29 February 2024, 15:40 IST)

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