The Central Board of Secondary Education faces a serious erosion of credibility with the leak of its annual examination question papers on Economics for Class 12 and Mathematics for Class 10.
Failure of Ministry of Human Resource Development
Clearly, the Ministry of Human Resource Development failed to assign top priority to secrecy and integrity of the process, considering that its standard operating procedure was easily breached, and the questions were circulated on instant messaging platforms. Yet, the problem is not new. State board question papers have been leaked in the past.
Reply in Lok Sabha by previous HRD minister
When the HRD Ministry was asked in the Lok Sabha three years ago what it intended to do to secure the CBSE Class 12 and 10 examinations, Smriti Irani, who was the Minister then, asserted the inviolability of the process, since the question papers were sealed and stored in secret places and released to authorised officials with a window of only a few hours. In addition, the board has dedicated secrecy officers for each region.
Need for reforms
But the protocol has failed, and HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar should conduct a thorough inquiry to get at the truth and initiate remedial steps without delay. One of the options is to institute a National Testing Agency, although it was originally supposed to take charge of entrance examinations in the first phase. State school boards also need help to reform systems.
(Adapted from the Hindu)