Class XII economics re-test on April 25, decision on Class X Maths paper later
NEW DELHI: The retest of the leaked Class XII Economics paper will be held on April 25 but uncertainty dogs the Class X Maths paper as CBSE is evaluating if a fresh exam is needed at all while also saying that such a test, if scheduled, will be restricted to Delhi-NCR and Haryana.
The Central Board of Secondary Education said its investigations so far indicate that the area affected by the Class X Maths leak is confined to Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida and Haryana, and the leaked paper is believed to have been shared over WhatsApp and other social media. The test, if scheduled, will be held in July.
The decision on the Class X retest did little to assuage the anxiety of affected parents and teachers as an exam in July will delay the results by two months for students in Delhi-NCR and Haryana. The results are usually declared by May end and there was consternation over the possibility of the re-examination being held as late as July.
Opinion seems to be divided within the CBSE and human resource development ministry over whether there should be a re-test for Class X students. There is a view that accepting the result of a leaked paper will erode the credibility of the exam and the board. But the long suspense is not seen to be helpful even as CBSE is to take a decision in the next two weeks.
Addressing a press conference along with CBSE chairperson Anita Karwal, school education secretary Anil Swarup said there were reports of more papers having leaked but there is no evidence to support the claims. On the leaked Maths paper reaching the CBSE chairperson’s office the evening before the exam (reported by TOI), he said a mail was sent at 1.29am which Karwal saw at 8.55am on the day of the test. It was 10 am before contents were confirmed. It would have been unwise to cancel the test and cause panic.
Around 4.91 lakh students will now have to sit for the Economics exam again. “For Class X, we have found in the prelim inquiry, that the leaks were restricted in Delhi and Haryana. We are still examining whether the Class X exam will be held at all in July. If held, it will be held only in Delhi NCR and Haryana.” The decision was taken in the interest of students, Swarup said, adding that there has been no leak outside India, hence no re-examination is required in international centres.
The leak of the question papers has snowballed into a major issue, with BJP and Congress trading charges. Congress has attacked the government for jeopardising the future of students and attacked PM Narendra Modi as well. Students have been protesting against CBSE and demands are being raised against retests. After CBSE announced the retests on March 28, within 90 minutes of the Class X Maths paper getting over, students came out in large numbers to protest against the decision.
“There are no perfect solutions for this kind of situation. Our immediate concern was for the children who suffered and this decision is in that context. We will nail the person who did this,” Swarup added. He said “leaked” papers substantially matched those actually distributed in exam halls.
Claiming it was too premature to say who was responsible for the leaks, the secretary said he has also been receiving messages that the papers have been leaked. On a similar note, he refused to answer Congress’s charge that multiple questions sets were not prepared, saying the process is different. He also appealed to former CBSE officials not to reveal too much information on the board’s exam methods.
He said the board had to wait to be absolutely satisfied before calling for a retest. He said one could imagine the chaos if the test was cancelled minutes before it began or half way through the exam. It would have been even worse had the leak claim turned out to be false. He said it would have been unfortunate if some “stupid fellow had played a dirty trick” and students paid the price.