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Mumbai has fewer flying squads to catch cheaters in board exams

Mumbai Divisional Board’s squads have been reduced from 41 to 34, as Board members handling squads were dismissed after their tenure ended in February 

This year, the number of flying squads to monitor cases of cheating in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations in Mumbai Division has been reduced from 41 to 34. The seven board members handling these squad duty till last year were dismissed, as their tenure concluded on February 17, before the exams started.

The dissolved board members feel that the decreased number, along with lack of supervision, may hamper monitoring of schools and junior colleges by the education officers. While previously these officers would report to the board members, the Mumbai Divisional Board has stated that they will appoint a member from their department for
the same.

Till last year, the board members monitored squads and visited exam centres to catch copycats. They also conducted inquiries into cheating cases. However, earlier this year, board members across the state, whose tenure was over, were dismissed.

A dismissed member, on condition of anonymity, said, “We don’t know who is managing the squads and whether they are monitoring schools and colleges the way we did during our tenure.”

Another member stated, “During our tenure, we have caught more than 100 copy cases. I don’t know what the status is right now. The board might have arranged some officials to form squads this year. Our role also included inquiring into the copying cases. I don’t know who will be taking care of that.”

136
Copying cases during board exams last year

31
Copying cases during board exams this year (till date)

527
Total exam centres in Mumbai last year

Board says

We have 34 squads for the 545 centres this year. The board members were asked to leave as their tenure got over. We will now appoint education officers or retired officers to conduct the inquiries of copying cases in Mumbai. As it is, there are very few cases of copying in the city.
— Laxmikant Pande, chairman, Mumbai Divisional Board

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