The Central Board of Secondary Education is considering a new system to deliver question papers to schools. This comes a day after the board decided to re-conduct two exams – Class 12 economics and Class 10 mathematics – after question papers were suspected to have been leaked.

The board asked supervisors at its different examination centres to participate in a “mock drill” to test the proposed system at 2 pm on Thursday. The CBSE asked all centre superintendents, computer staff and coordinators to be present.

In a notice, the CBSE said the board headquarters “will send a URL on the registered email or mobile number of the centre superintendent”. The centres were asked to open the URL and login using a password sent at 2.45 pm. The second password was to be sent at 3 pm “for opening the question paper and print the same”.

The final instruction was the centre superintendent “will print set of 150 question papers as sample and prepare sets and sent confirmation to the regional office at 4 pm.” Some centre supervisors were also reportedly asked to “arrange [for] sufficient printers, blank papers and take print out and staple it as a QP [question paper] set”.

However, the system was not working at several schools even at 3.45 pm. The CBSE has over 19,000 affiliated schools. While most are private, all of Delhi’s government schools are affiliated to the board and their principals – who double as supervisors for their respective centres – were exasperated because the system was not working for them.

“I get a maximum of 700 examinees, how am I supposed to print so many question papers within half an hour?” asked a principal of a Delhi government school.

Another principal, heading one of the better-resourced government schools in Delhi, complained that his school has only three to four printers. “We have been asked to download the paper and print 150 in about half an hour,” he said. “We will have to print about 450. These things depend on internet speed, uninterrupted power supply and most schools have just one printer. There are schools in rural areas of Delhi as well. This will create another big mess.”

The principals are also angry with the proposed system. “The board does not trust its own infrastructure, its own people so they are dumping all the responsibility upon schools,” said the head of a government school in Delhi. “Earlier, even the slightest mistake or delay on our part would invite heavy fines. There are schools that have been burdened with fines to the tune of Rs 50,000 because they were late with lists or made mistakes while entering internal assessment marks of students.”

CBSE officials did not respond to calls from