Published: 13th March 2023
General Science question paper leaked, Assam class X board exam cancelled
SEBA announces new exam date as March 30 while four lakh students face shock and uncertainty
On Monday, March 13, the government of Assam declared the cancellation of the Class X state board exam following confirmation of the general science question paper being leaked. Education Minister Ranoj Pegu informed reporters that a police case had been lodged and the CID has been instructed to investigate the issue. "Last night, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam(SEBA)got some clue that today's paper (general science) has been leaked. Accordingly, the exam was cancelled," he said. He added, "A detailed probe by Assam Police, as well as SEBA, will reveal the source of the leak and the culprits behind it," stated a PTI report.
"There is no question of involvement of teachers. The papers are kept at police stations and taken to examination centres only on the morning of the test day. Who so ever is behind this, no one will be spared. We will punish the guilty," the minister asserted. As per a SEBA notification later shared on Twitter by Pegu, the rescheduled date for the general science exam is March 30. The High School Leaving Certificate authorities also advised students to stay composed and not lose heart over the cancellation of the exam, stated the PTI report.
Asked if the question paper leak was because of SEBA's inefficiency, he said: "There was no inefficiency. This does not happen every year." - SEBA Controller of Examination NJ Sarmah, in a release, earlier said that a hand-written model question paper of general science was available with some candidates, which got circulated on social media. "We have a belief that such news may create confusion in the minds of the candidates and view of this, the examination of General Science (C3) subject is hereby cancelled," it said.
The incident involving the question paper leak should not have occurred, according to BJP MLA Prasanta Phukan, and the party is troubled by the development. "This is related to the future of our children. I am personally very hurt. I will speak to government officials so that the probe is conducted expeditiously," he said. Meanwhile, the opposition demanded the resignation of Pegu over the incident.
"This is not the first such instance. In Assam, almost all question papers are leaked. This is how the BJP wants to feature the state among the top five in India," Congress working president Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha told PTI.
Since nearly four lakh kids are in a state of shock following the cancellation of the exam, he claimed that the Assam government is not concerned about the future of the students. "Despite such a big incident, the minister concerned is making irresponsible statements. It appears some government officials are involved and the minister is trying to save them. We demand his resignation," Purkayastha said. CPI(M) MLA Manoranjan Talukdar said the episode reflects the "total failure" of the education department as well as the state government.
"The education minister is responsible for the fiasco and he should resign," Talukdar said stated the report by PTI.