Dr.Shiben Krishen Raina

Examination Controller is not a flying bird

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Recently the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) question-paper leak, in the country, created a lot of resentment, anguish and hubbub both in the media and down the streets of Delhi. And in other parts of the country and even outside, by examinees, their parents and teachers. Such incidents during examinations bring a bad name to the country’s education system and need to be tackled firmly.

I have myself been associated closely with the conducting of various examinations in various capacities during my service tenure. I know how delicate and accountable this job is. It has always been a challenge for any examination-conducting agency to hold exams smoothly, fairly and above all well on time. The process of conducting any professional or competitive examination passes through certain stages. The stages include the appointment of the question paper-setter, the printing of the question papers in the press, packing of the papers, dispatching the packets of printed papers to the respective examination centres including far-flung areas. The entire process involves utmost confidentiality, privacy and trust. Since the whole process goes through several stages, many people are involved in this work and any breach in the trust could lead to harmful and destructive results.

The question papers for any examination are set by senior, experienced and well-qualified teachers and experts in their respective fields. The examination-controller prepares a list of such qualified and scholarly teachers or experts and from an approved panel, the paper-setters are selected. The controller assumes that the selected people are the most credible scholars and their integrity need not be questioned. But instances have been there in the past, when these scholars resort to dishonesty due to temptation, by leaking the paper they have set, thus, bringing disgrace to the entire spirit and sanctity of the examination process.

An examination-controller has his own limitations. He is not a flying bird as to watch everything with his own eyes. He can only entrust the work to his trust-worthy subordinates and see that the work is carried out honestly and on time. Sometimes employees working under the examination-controller, too, connive with the extraneous elements for petty gains and resort to this kind of anti-academic activities.

The decline in our moral values and principles are the root cause of such leakages and it inflicts great damage to our society, whether they are economic scams or paper-leakage scams.

As already said, it is high time to eradicate the nefarious nexus between those who leak question papers and their collaborators. Loopholes existing in the question paper distribution system also need to be plugged in. The authorities concerned must maintain utmost secrecy over the whole process of setting question papers, printing and distributing of the papers so that no untoward situation arises. Both wrongdoers of this shocking offence and the consumers of leaked questions must be brought to book and handed harsh punishment to curb the growing menace.

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