Nation Current Affairs 07 Apr 2016 There’s someth ...

There’s something really rotten about this education system

Published Apr 7, 2016, 3:18 am IST
Updated Apr 7, 2016, 3:18 am IST
While the authorities seem surprised all over again by the leaks, the racketeers appear to have been running a well oiled network for years.
Police personnel seen controlling students, who were protesting in front of the Department of Pre-University Education following a question paper leak, in Bengaluru (Photo: DC)
 Police personnel seen controlling students, who were protesting in front of the Department of Pre-University Education following a question paper leak, in Bengaluru (Photo: DC)

The CID has busted the gang behind the II PUC question paper racket, albeit after two leaks in the space of 10 days that has put thousands of students to hardship. Now, the authorities are turning the focus onto students who sought the question papers in advance by paying between Rs 2,000 and Rs 7,000 per paper. The CID has made a list of students who got the leaked papers via Whatsapp. If the allegation is proved, the Department of Pre-University Education will cancel the candidature of these students for the current year and ban them from appearing for II PU examinations for further three years. The wages of malpractice?

The authorities, which had dragged their feet after the first leak of the II PU Chemistry question paper, came alive after the second and in a crackdown busted the entire racket within days of it and now it appears, the kingpin is none other than a man who has a long track record of selling question papers to students.


A retired school teacher,  Shivakumar who  runs tutorials in many districts of the state, has been arrested several times in the past for the same crime, but  it took  a second leak and the inconveniencing of thousands of PU students for the police to zero in on him.  

While the authorities seem surprised all over again by the leaks , the racketeers appear to have been running a well oiled network for years. Students paid anywhere between Rs 2,000 to Rs 7,000 per subject to them and transferred the  money to their accounts in return for the leaked question papers sent to them on their mobile phones.


CID investigation has revealed that hundreds of students were in touch with the key suspects in the latest leak.  In fact in just a day over Rs 10 lakh  found its way into the bank account of  one of the accused, Manjunath.

Should the case against the students be established the Department of Pre-University Education (DPE) warns they could be in serious trouble too. Going by its rules,  any student  involved in  examination malpractice can have his or her results withheld and be banned from  writing the examination again for three years. Noting that paying for leaked question papers amounts to examination malpractice, PUE director,  Ramegowda says it will take action against the students once it receives adequate proof from the CID.


Mr. Vignesh Bhat, an academician, says there are multiple reasons why students want the easy way out. “Every student is under tremendous pressure to get good marks one way or another. Those behind such rackets misuse their anxiety and vulnerability.  The PU board should simply cancel the results of these students and let them appear for the supplementary examination,”  he suggests.

Lecturers protest, students unsure of paper evaluation
The II PU final exams seem jinxed this year. Not only have students been forced to rewrite exams owing to question paper leaks,  they are now not even sure when their answer papers will be evaluated as lecturers, who were entrusted with the job, have chosen to stay away until their demand for a bigger salary is met.


Going by the original schedule, the evaluation was to begin on April 3 in seven cities across the state. But there is no sign of it starting yet with the lecturers standing firm on their demand for implementation of the Kumar Naik report on their salary structure and the state government saying an adamant no as this will place an additional Rs 250 crore financial burden on it.

PU lecturers’ union president, Timmaiah Purle, however, says they are not backing down this time as the restructuring of their salaries has been pending since 1998. “Nothing has been done about it for nearly 18 years. We will not give up now,” he adds firmly.


The lecturers got a shot in the arm when PU college principals joining their protest at Freedom Park on Wednesday.  As if this was not bad enough, SSLC teachers have also threatened to boycott their evaluation work scheduled to begin on April 18,  unless they are paid more too.

Caught between a corrupt system and warring teachers, students and their parents feel its time the authorities put their foot down.  Recalls Mr. Shriram Gowda, a parent, “PU lecturers did this last year too and started the valuation work after a delay of several days. Naturally it creates panic among students who are supposed to appear for several competitive examinations as well. But no one understands their situation.”


Some students believe its time to ban evaluation boycotts by teachers. “This year II PU students are under tremendous pressure as the Chemistry examination was postponed twice due to the question paper leaks.. Instead of  coming to our help,  lecturers are only adding to our anxiety,” rues Pallavi Kumari, a student of a private PU college in Malleswaram.

Choice-based approach of answering questions only tests memory: Prof.K.Balaveera Reddy, Former Vice Chancellor - VTU Belgaum
Sabotage by some unscrupulous elements leads to cancellations or re-examinations and innocent students bear the brunt of it all. Also, the reputation of the PU board goes for a toss with parents and the public at large losing faith in it.


As pre-university is a very crucial stage in a student's career, determining his or her entry into an undergraduate or professional course, racketeers leave no stone unturned to leak question papers. The leaks can happen at any stage : during the setting of the question paper, its scrutiny or printing , at the storage room, in transit from the board to the examination centres  or at the  centres themselves.

The immediate solution could be replacing the traditional  system of examinations with an online one. Presently,  the choice- based approach of answering questions only  tests the memory of a student  and not his analytical or reasoning power.


Random question selection using examination management software for an exclusive question paper will entirely prevent leak of question papers and th  examination could be conducted online by an institution or an authorised third party on the lines of SAT,  GRE/TOEFL or BITSA.

Question papers can also be printed on codified OMR sheets and the results fed into a centralised computer system for evaluation and analysis. Examinations can even be conducted in batches since each of the question papers will be based on random selection. Each student could get a separate question paper, which could do away  with the possibility of copying and mass copying. Also, linking Aadhar verification to admission tickets could prevent impersonation in the exam hall.


The greatest benefit of online examination is that besides eliminating leaks of question papers it will also  speed up results and ensure transparency and security.

Also, a continuous evaluation of students during the academic year through assignments, projects, quizzes, seminars and so on will improve their attendance in class and quality of learning. Having question banks for each subject  with about 10,000 to 20,000 questions of various levels of difficulty, prepared with the help of subject  experts,  is a good idea as well.


Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru