Odisha Govt Steps Up Measures For Smooth Conduct Of Annual HSC Exams

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Bhubaneswar: With three days left for the commencement of the annual High School Certificate (HSC) examination across Odisha, the state government in a high-level review meeting here on Monday discussed various aspects for its smooth conduct.

Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and Director General of Police (DGP) Dr RP Sharma reviewed the preparedness of the district administration through video conferencing at the State Secretariat here.

Presiding over the meeting, the chief secretary directed the officials of the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) and the district collectors to ensure smooth and hassle-free examination.

Maintaining that any illegal activity relating to examination is a cognizable and non-bailable offence, the DGP directed the SPs to deploy adequate policemen at the examination centres and make tight security arrangements during the dispatch of question papers from the nodal centres to the examination centres.

Also present at the meeting, development commissioner Asit Kumar Tripathy asked the officials of the BSE and the School and Mass Education department to remain vigilant to counter any rumour on leakage of question papers on social media. The meeting decided to entrust this responsibility to the special officers having adequate exposure in handling social media.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, principal secretary, School and Mass Education, Pradipta Mahapatra said a total of 5,87,720 students will appear in the annual HSC examinations, which will begin on February 22 and conclude on March 8.

“For smooth conduct of the examinations, the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) has identified 2953 examination centres. For distribution of question papers, 304 nodal centres have been set up while for 701 teams have been formed to despatch the question papers to the examination centres,” he added.

He further said that the evaluation of the answer sheets will begin at 60 centres in the state from March 25 to April 7.

Mahapatra also informed that the question papers from the nodal centres will be despatched to the examination centres amid tight security between 6 AM and 8.30 AM on the day of the examination. The question papers will have three layers of covers. While the first layer of cover will be opened from the packet by the despatch team, the second layer of cover will be opened inside the examination hall in presence of the centre superintendents and the students. The students will open the third layer of the cover and answer the questions.

“This year, use of mobile by the centre superintendents and the staff associated with the conduct of examinations has been completely banned,” Mahapatra said.

He said on the first day of the examination, the students will be allowed to enter the examination hall at 9 AM, while on the other day of the examination the entry timing will be 9.15 AM. To ensure no malpractice, boys and girls will be checked separately.

Talking about the measures to ensure smooth conduct of the examination, the Chief Secretary said 58 flying squads, 44 special squads and six zonal squads have been formed to conduct surprise raids on the examination centres. Besides, arrangements have been made to clamp prohibitory order under Section 144 at the sensitive centres while the centre superintendents have been imparted training on the basis of the 17-point standard protocol for the effective management of the examination.

Among others, principal secretary, Finance, Ashok Kumar Meena and senior officials of the School and Mass Education department also had a video conferencing with the district collectors, SPs and district education officers (DEOs).