The department of pre-university education (DPUE) used the same set of papers printed for March 21 for the March 31 re-exam. The re-exam had to be cancelled after a second paper leak in 10 days.
Instead of setting six new sets of question papers for the II PUC chemistry re-exam, the department randomly selected – on the government’s directive – one old set from those meant for March 21. This enabled the second leakage, a highly placed source told STOI.
It was not the only blunder the department made.
After being set in January, the question papers were printed at a secret place in another state. Surprisingly, after the chemistry paper was leaked on March 21, the state government entrusted the task of printing the paper for the March 31 re-exam to the same press. On March 7, the question papers were sent directly to the districts from the press.
“This shows that the government did not take any serious measures after the paper leaked the first time, leaving 1.7 lakh students in doldrums,” an officer observes.
To prevent another leakage, the government has ordered setting of six new sets for the April 12 re-exam. The question papers will be printed in a different press outside Karnataka. The practice of keeping question papers at taluk-level treasuries will be stopped. Police will guard the papers from the time they are taken to district-level treasuries to their being opened in exam halls. Pallavi Akurathi, who was transferred on Friday, was the fourth DPUE director in seven months. Frequent changes at the helm can lead to embarrassments such as those seen on March 21 and 31, sources note.