Mumbai: On the first day of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) board class 10 examinations, the question paper of the Marathi subject was leaked and circulated on the mobile application WhatsApp at Kurha-Kakoda village school at Muktainagar in Jalgaon district.

Despite this incident, the exam was conducted as scheduled on Tuesday without any stoppage as the state board authorities revealed the leaked question paper was circulated at 11:30am, while the exam had already begun at 11am.

Authorities of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) termed the incident a ‘so-called paper leak’ as students were already inside the exam centres.

Krishnakumar Patil, in-charge board chairman, MSBSHSE, Mumbai division, said, “We have received information that the question paper was circulated on WhatsApp at 11:30 am.

We had already distributed question papers to students at 10:50 am inside the exam hall as we allow them 10 minutes to read the questions and start attempting the answers at 11am.”

The state board officials revealed they cannot call it a paper leak because it happened after the exam began and students do not have access to mobile phones inside exam centres.

Shakuntala Kale, chairperson, MSBSHSE said, “It is not a paper leak as students did not have access to mobile phones inside exam centres.” The exam was therefore conducted as per schedule till 2 pm without any suspension.

The incident is being investigated in order to find out how the paper reached WhatsApp.Patil added, “We are investigating the matter through the medium of education officials and personnel from cyber security to find out how the question paper was circulated on WhatsApp. We will take necessary action based on the finding of the investigation report.”

This year, the state board has tightened measures by initiating unsealing question paper bundles inside exam centres, deploying flying squads, disallowing the custodian or “runner” who delivers question paper to centres to move out of centres. A senior official of the state board, said, “We want to find out how the question paper reached WhatsApp in the first place.”

A total of 65 cases of cheating and copying were registered with 20 in Amravati, 13 in Nagpur, 12 in Nashik, 11 in Aurangabad, eight in Latur and one in Pune division. No cases were registered in Mumbai, Kolhapur and Konkan division.

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