World’s largest board examinations began on 18 February across the state of Uttar Pradesh, India with slightly more than 6.8 million examinees. In what came as a shocking news, around 11 percent students were reported absent on the first day of their board exams.
Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education was set up in the year 1921 at Allahabad. While most schools across the country are affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and CISCE, the condition in Uttar Pradesh is slightly different. A very few schools are being governed by the above mentioned boards, and most of the secondary schools are affiliated to U.P Board.
As per the records, a total of 6,821,869 students were registered to appear for the UP board exams commencing from 18 February which includes 3,749,977 students for high schools exams and 3,071,892 students for intermediate exams. The figures also include 126 high school and 153 intermediate students across eight jails in Firozabad, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Banda, Gorakhpur, Fatehgarh, Varanasi and Lucknow districts.
The number of absentees was confirmed when the attendance data from examination centers reached the board’s office at Allahabad. Reportedly, as much as 454,000 high school students and 288,000 intermediate students did not appear for the board exam on the first day.
A mobile application was launched by the UPMSP (Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad) to check the attendance of examinees. The application gives detailed information about the total number of students appearing in the examination on a particular day. The SIM cards were issued by the board to invigilators to scan the bar codes on the admit cards of examinees. However, the first day experience of the mobile application which was supposed to put a stop in cheating malpractices was not much sweet. It was reported from across many examination centers that the mobile application did not work effectively, invigilators complained of poor network and incorrect data. The officials accepted that the use of mobile application was not satisfactory on the first day of examination.
The board examinations in Uttar Pradesh have been in news due to incidents of mass cheating. To ensure fair examinations across the state, the state government has nominated sector magistrates at district levels. Further all photocopy shops near exam centers were directed to remain shut during the conduct of examinations. The U.P board has also directed schools to ensure functioning of CCTVs, failing which the schools will be blacklisted for next year.