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Exam centres face problem cracking botched barcodes

There were teething troubles on the first day of the HSC exams in the city, as faulty barcode stickers on answer sheets kept examination centres on their toes.The codes are the only way the identity of a student can be established by the education board after the exams. However, the board said that such cases have been rare, and it has already provided emergency barcode sheets to all exam centres in the state.


Backup: Emergency HSC barcode sheet. Representation Pic

“We found eight faulty barcodes; this hasn't happened before. Some of them diffused into the paper, while others didn't create a proper impression,” said Rekha Palshikar, vice-principal of Fergusson College, which is one of the biggest HSC exam centres in the city. This year the college has made seating arrangements for 2,163 students.

“We asked the supervisors to paste the barcodes on the answer sheets, as often students are unable to do it properly. After identifying faulty barcodes, we replaced all these with emergency ones,” Palshikar said.

She added that even though the number of such instances is negligible, this is not expected in such a vital exam. When contacted by MiD DAY, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) chairman Sarjerao Jadhav said, “The board has already supplied sheets of emergency barcode to all exam centres in the state.

Cases of faulty barcodes are insignificant and students need not worry at all.” A top official of Pune divisional board of MSBSHSE, on condition of anonymity, said, “One has to consider the volume of work. If around 13 lakh students are appearing for examinations, in a small number of cases faults may remain in barcode because of various reasons like problem in printing machines. Emergency barcodes ensure that there are no goof-ups.”  

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