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Students hit with over 70 paper leak cases in 7 years

NewsStudents hit with over 70 paper leak cases in 7 years

National legislation sought over leaks in examinations of school boards, universities and even competitive examinations.

NEW DELHI: Every year, thousands of students are being affected by the series of question paper leaks of various school board examinations, university examinations, and even competitive examinations, impacting the lives and quality of education of students who have been toiling for years. According to estimates, in the last seven years, more than 1.5 crore students have been affected by the numerous question paper leaks that happened in various states.
According to a data, there have been more than 70 cases of question paper leaks in the country in the last seven years, which have affected the future of lakhs of students. The latest incident of the Telangana Public Service Commission (TPSC) question paper leak has affected more than 25,000 students who had appeared for the examination this year. The TPSC paper for Junior Engineer Town planning was leaked and this examination which was held on 5 March this year had to be cancelled when the TPSC was made aware of the leakage of these question papers. This incident also fuelled protests among students across the state, who demanded the resignation of the TPSC chairman Janardhan Reddy.
The Telangana police has registered an FIR into this case on 14 March and investigation is currently underway to ascertain the miscreants behind the act. In another incident of question paper leak that sparked outrage, question papers of the Assam Board examinations were reportedly being sold on WhatsApp for as low as Rs 200 to as high as Rs 3,000. In March this year, the Assam Board’s class 10, General Science question paper was found to be leaked and was being widely shared on the internet based messaging application, WhatsApp, following which the examination was forced to be cancelled. The new date of the examination has now been scheduled on 30 March this year.
Not only this, State Board examination paper leaks have also been reported from various other states from time to time, leading to delays and cancellations of examinations, which in turn cause mental agony to students. Take for example, the Bihar Board’s class 10 examination paper have been leaked six times in the past; in West Bengal, the State Board examination paper has leaked at least 10 times in the last seven years, in Tamil Nadu, both class 10 and 12 board examination papers have been leaked in 2022 and the list goes on.
The leakage of question papers is not only limited to school board examinations, it is much more rampant for competitive examinations held by multiple state public service commissions. Rajasthan has been notorious for several question paper leaks over the last few years. Between 2015 and 2023, the state witnessed more than 14 cases of question paper leaks of various competitive exams. In a latest incident in the state, the question paper for the general knowledge examination for recruitment of senior government school teachers was found to be leaked in December last year, following which the examination had to be cancelled. The examination was being held by the state’s top most recruitment body, the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC). Several other leaks, like that of the UGC NET examination paper leak, and the Police recruitment paper leak have also been reported from the state.
Gujarat is not behind in this saga of paper leaks, and the state has also witnessed 14 such incidents of question paper leaks in the last seven years. Some of the incidents of paper leak from Gujarat include GPSC chief officer (2014), Talati examination (2015), Talati Surendranagar and Gandhinagar examinations (2016), Teachers Aptitude Test (2018), Mukhya Sevika (2018), Nayab Chitnis (2018), Dec Lok Rakshak Dal (2018), non-Sachivalaya clerks (2019), Head clerk (2021), Saurashtra university Paper Leak, GSSSB Paper leak (2021), Junior clerk exam (2023), Forest Guard exam (2022), Sub-auditor paper (2021).
Uttar Pradesh also saw at least eight incidents of question paper leaks between 2017 and 2022, some of which include Inspectors Online Recruitment Test (2017), Teacher Eligibility Test (UPTET) (2021), Preliminary Eligibility Test (2021), B.Ed Joint Entrance Examination (2021), NEET-UG Exam (2021) and the Class 12 board examination (2022).
Several other states that have witnessed similar incidents of paper leaks in the last seven years, includes, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Haryana. Such rampant question paper leaks have also led to a demand being raised within the Parliament for a national legislation to curb such leaks that jeopardize the future of lakhs of students who write these examinations and also cause a financial burden on the exchequer.
Police investigations into the leaks have also brought out that all the incidents of question paper leaks involves a hefty amount of money that is transacted in the process.
Many instances of have also shown the involvement of government officials, teachers and even printing press personnel in the act. In the present day and age, social media also plays an important role in the easy circulation and dissemination of the leaked paper that reaches thousands of aspirants in no time, of course in exchange of money.
However, the Union Education Ministry has told the Parliament that apart from two question paper leaks in 2018 for Economics (Class XII) and Maths (Class X), no other incidents of question paper leaks have been found by the ministry. It also further said, “There are three major recruiting agencies of Central Government i.e. Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs). No leakage of question papers has been reported in the examinations conducted by these three agencies since June 2019.”

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