TT, March 1: A portion of the Madhyamik physical science question paper was circulated on WhatsApp while the exam was on today, raising questions about whether the paper had been leaked.
Kalyanmoy Ganguly, the administrator of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, ruled out the possibility of "leak" though he admitted that the images that were circulated through the messaging app were of today's physical science paper.
According to him, it could not be termed as leak as there is no proof that the images had been circulated before the exam started.
"We received the images from journalists around 12.45pm. So we can't term this a leak. The examinees had entered the exam halls at all centres at 11.30am. The exam started at noon. But the question papers were distributed at 11.45 to enable them to go through the paper for 15 minutes before they started writing," Ganguly said after the exam ended.
An inquiry has been ordered to unearth how the images surfaced as the board does not allow examinees, teachers, non-teaching employees and even invigilators to carry cell phones inside exam halls. "Use of mobile phones is strictly not allowed inside exam halls," Ganguly said.
The board did not receive any complaint till this evening. But a preliminary inquiry revealed someone from a school in Malda's Ratua block had sent the screenshots of the question paper, sources said.
TOI, MALDA/KOLKATA: A WhatsApp message allegedly sent out of a Madhyamik centre at Malda's Ratua minutes before the Physical Science examination began has thrown the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education officials into a tizzy.
A screen shot of the WhatsApp message that went viral among the journalists in Malda shows that it was sent at 11.41 am, three minutes before the examination schedule at 11.45 am on Wednesday. The message contains photographs of the first three of the total 12-page question paper. There are 13 questions in the first three papers carrying a total 13 marks of the 90-mark examination. This is the second instance after the Madhyamik Physical Science question leak in 2011.
The Board had scrapped the examination and deferred the examination to a later date. But this time, the Board hasn't cancelled the paper on the ground that all the students were in the examination halls when the WhatsApp message came to the Board's notice. "We received the complaint at 12.45 pm and by then all the students reached the examination hall and were writing the examination. There is, therefore, no plausible ground for scrapping the paper," said Board administrator Kalyanmoy Ganguly.
The announcement by the Board administrator was not enough to allay fears among the Madhyamik examinees of a possible scrapping of the Physical Science paper even when there was no official "question leak" complaint from those who took the examination.
The Board administrator suspects that the message was sent after the Physical Science question papers had reached safely to the examination centres at 10.30 am. He sees it as a "disruptive move" from someone who took liberty of the Board rules. "Students are not allowed to carry cell phones to examination halls. The question papers are in the custody of four people who carry cell phones. I wonder how the WhatsApp message was sent out under such tight security. It appears that somebody from within is trying to disrupt the examination process," Ganguly said.
However, the Board administrator isn't glossing over the incident. "I have ordered an inquiry into the complaint. The district magistrate has initiated a probe based on a complaint from the district inspector of schools. Malda police superintendent is conducting a separate probe. The district inspector of schools is probing the alleged lapse at my behest," Ganguly said. The Board administrator also got in touch with education minister Partha Chatterjee immediately after the complaint was brought to his notice. "The minister asked me to order a probe and fix responsibilities as early as possible," the Board administrator said.
Headmaster Abbas Ali of the school under scanner — Bhado High School in Ratua block — has refuted the charge. The only thing is that Malda journalists first came to know about this WhatsApp message first. However, this is not enough proof to conclude that the question was leaked from Malda's Ratua, a senior police officer said.