Karnataka: Fire breaks out at college in Mangaluru on day one of SSLC exam; no casualties reported

A fire broke out in a biology lab of a private college in Babbukatte, Mangalore district of Karnataka during the class 10 exams of Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board which began on Monday amidst a slew of precautions and measures against COVID-19.

According to an on-duty teacher, "the fire broke out while the SSLC exam was going on. All 208 students have been shifted to another building."

So far there are no reports of injuries to any students or faculties in the school.

The two-day Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exams began across the state on Monday, amid COVID-19 concerns. As many as 8.76 lakh students have registered for the examination. This is for the second consecutive year that the Department of Primary and Secondary Education is conducting the SSLC examinations amid the pandemic.

Due to COVID-19 situation, for the first time, the examinations have been reduced from six days to two days, with students writing one paper for three subjects per day. On Monday, students are writing the exam for core subjects mathematics, science and social science, while on July 22 there will be exams for languages such as Kannada, English, Hindi, Sanskrit.

The department this year has increased the number of examination centres and teachers on duty, Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board officials have said, adding that as many as 1.19 lakh staff have been deployed for 73,064 exam halls in 4,885 centres across the state. Special arrangements have been made for 23 students who have tested positive for COVID-19, to write the exams at the COVID Care Centres in their respective districts.

All the necessary arrangementshave been made at the exam centres keeping the pandemic situation in mind, wherein only 12 students, one per bench, will be seated in a classroom and those with symptoms will be allowed to take the exam in a separate room, officials said. All the staff involved in examination duty have received at least one dose of vaccination, the official added.

The exam is being conducted in the form of multiple-choice questions and the students will have to mark the right answers on the Optical Mark Reading (OMR) sheet given to them.

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Free Press Journal