The Central Board of Secondary Education will conduct a fresh exam for the cancelled Class 12 economics paper on April 25, the Ministry of Human Resource Development announced on Friday. The board had cancelled the exam after it was found that the question paper had been leaked.
The re-test for the Class 10 mathematics paper will be held – “if at all” – only for students in Delhi and Haryana in July, School Education Secretary Anil Swarup said. The decision will be made in the next 15 days depending on the investigation.
Acknowledging that this was not the “perfect solution”, Swarup said this was the best the government could do with the limited information it had, so as not to leave students “on tenterhooks”. He said the decision was “in the context of the child”.
Swarup also acknowledged reports that Central Board of Secondary Education Chairperson Anita Karwal had received information about the Class 10 paper leak through an email before the exam. However, she saw the email at 8.55 am on March 28, just before the exam, which could not be stopped without verifying the information, the secretary said.
About the Class 10 mathematics exam, Swarup said that the Centre had been “reliably told” that the leak took place only in Delhi and Haryana. Overseas students of the CBSE will not need to take any re-tests, he said.
The announcements come two days after the Central Board of Secondary Education said it would conduct the Class 12 economics and Class 10 maths exams again as their questions had been leaked. The CBSE’s decision to hold the re-exam came just hours after Class 10 students wrote the maths paper on Wednesday. The Class 12 economics exam was held on Monday.
This was followed by protests by students and parents in various parts of the country. Karwal had said on Thursday the board would soon announce the dates for the two exams. She said the decision was “in favour of the students and in utmost fairness”.
The Delhi Police are investigating the leak and suspect that at least 1,000 students may have accessed the leaked papers. Six students in Jharkhand have been detained in the case.
Politics over the leak
The Opposition has criticised the government over the leak, with some demanding the resignation of Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar. Congress leader Kapil Sibal alleged that the CBSE had known about the leak “eight hours before the exam”, and said a government that could not stop a question paper leak had no right to claim they could protect the nation.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar also urged the Centre on Friday not to hold retests. He said the “only correct thing” to do now was to identify the few students who benefited from the leak and cancel only their papers.