Maharashtra: Class 12 Board Exams Begin Amid Tight Security

Maharashtra: Class 12 Board Exams Begin Amid Tight Security

The exams will continue until March 19

Musab Qazi Gunwanti ParasteUpdated: Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 12:14 AM IST
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Mumbai: Around 15.14 lakh Class 12 students from across the state will start taking the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) written examination from today (February 21). The exams will continue until March 19. Of the total students, 8.21 lakh are boys and 6.92 are girls; 3.52 lakh are from the Mumbai division alone. Last year, 14.57 lakh students signed up for the exam.

This is the second year after the Covid-19 when the board examinations are being conducted without any pandemic-era relaxations, though the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has decided to continue with the additional 10 minutes given for each paper at the end of the test. 

Last year, the board had scrapped its previous rule of distributing question papers 10 minutes before the scheduled exam start time. Following negative feedback from parents and academics, the board decided to add 10 minutes towards the end of the exam instead.

The exam will be held across 668 centres in Mumbai division, which includes the city as well as Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts, up from 635 centres last time. The number of students who registered for the test in the division has also increased from last year’s 3.44 lakh.

The exams will begin amid a boycott of paper assessment announced by the teachers over their long-pending demands, which could lead to a delay in declaring the results. 

Paper evaluation boycott amid unmet demands

The Maharashtra State Federation of Junior College Teachers Organisations, an umbrella body of higher secondary teacher associations, has refused to carry out paper evaluation as it’s upset with the state government for not meeting their demands related to salaries, promotions and sanctioning of new posts. The organisation had boycotted the assessment even last year for 10 days but resumed the work following assurances from the state. 

Meanwhile, Sharad Gosavi, the chairman of the State Board, affirmed that meticulous preparations have been made to ensure the smooth conduct of exams. Preparations include the formation of 271 flying squads at district levels dedicated to preventing malpractices, with stringent measures in place to uphold the integrity of the process. 

Students have been urged to arrive at centres at least half an hour before the scheduled start time. With the advent of technology, the screening team will closely monitor the entire process, from the handling of question paper packets to their distribution, using the GPS system during transportation for added security. Appropriate instructions have been issued to the collectors, commissioners of police, and district superintendents of police. 

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