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Bihar Government suspends IAS officer for his alleged role in a leakage of Question Papers

The Bihar IAS Association has protested against the arrest of Kumar and also demanded a CBI probe into the case

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Exams in Patna (representational image) Wikimedia

Patna, March 3, 2017:  The Bihar government on Friday suspended an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer for his alleged role in a leakage of question papers, an official said.

“The state government has suspended Sudhir Kumar, Chairman of Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Bihar, a week after he was arrested from neighbouring Jharkhand in connection with a leakage of question papers,” a General Administration Department official said.

The department has also issued a notification to this effect.

Kumar, a 1987-batch IAS officer, was arrested along with four of his close relatives from Hazaribagh district.

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He had widely been known as a hard working and honest officer.

The Bihar IAS Association has protested against the arrest of Kumar and also demanded a CBI probe into the case.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised the issue of Kumar’s arrest in the ongoing budget session of the state assembly.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Bihar Police, which arrested Kumar, has submitted evidences against him to the state government. The SIT is said to have informed the government that it has strong evidences against the officer.

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Last month after the leakage surfaced, the examination for recruitment of clerks in the state government, which was conducted in two parts on February 5 and 8, was cancelled.

The leaked questions appeared in the social media sites and WhatsApp on both dates and went viral in no time.

The SIT has also arrested the owner of a printing press in Ahmedabad in Gujarat, where the SSC, Bihar, question papers were printed.

During the interrogation of the owner, it was established that the papers were leaked from there ahead of the examinations, police officials said.

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The Bihar government had suspended SSC Secretary Parmeshwar Ram before he was also arrested earlier this week.

More than 20 persons have so far been arrested over the leakage of question paper. (IANS)

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CBSE Using Digital Technology For Level Playing Field in Exams

The official also debunked reports that the Board is conducting exams early this year due to general election, saying it's "completely wrong" and that early exams have nothing to do with the elections

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has been using digital technology to create as much of a level playing field as possible for students who feel unduly penalised by a disproportionately difficult question paper or a stray ambiguous question, a senior official said.

The official said that the Board started using the Theory Evaluation Trend Analysis (TETRA) software – written by its own team – last year for studying the trend of marks being obtained by the students across the regions.

The software displays the live trend of average marks scored across the centres and can be used for moderation of marks in case there’s an unfair degree of ambiguity or difficulty in the question paper.

“We analyse the trend of marks being obtained by students across the regions and centres. Whenever we spot any deviation from the norm, we call up that centre and probe if there were complaints about the question paper,” a senior CBSE official told on condition of anonymity.

“We look for complaints regarding any ambiguity or difficulty in the question paper. A team then sees if and how much moderation is needed to account for these difficulties,” the official added.

Asked about previously instances of some boards spiking marks, the official emphasised that the Board has never happened as it was “unethical” and quite different from moderation, “which is done by boards across the world” and is a just way of compensating students”.

CBSE
CBSE logo.

Another official insisted that moderation is not a matter of policy for the Board and is done only when needed under pressing circumstances. This official likened the software with “CCTV camera” with the help of which the officials oversee the mammoth evaluation execise that the board exams are.

The CBSE had also used the TETRA software last year when it weathered opprobrium from all quarters after the Maths and Economics papers for class 10 and class 12, respectively were leaked.

Board officials saw the trend for both the papers and found that students from class 10 had not benefited from the Maths paper leak because the graph of their scores matched the general trend. Such was not the case with Economics paper, which was reset.

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The Board has since fortified its exam system, the official assured, but refused to divulge the details of the changes brought citing risk of their getting compromised.

The official also debunked reports that the Board is conducting exams early this year due to general election, saying it’s “completely wrong” and that early exams have nothing to do with the elections.

“We are conducting exams a little early this year at the instruction of the Delhi High Court, which had said that the schools results should coincide with the Delhi University admission. To that effect, the results also this year will be announced early in May,” the official said. (IANS)