Bihar- The photograph was telling as it was shocking: dozens of people climbing up a wall of an examination hall in Bihar’s Vaishali district as many more stood on the ground below, watching the spectacle.

The people on the wall were apparent friends and family-members of candidates appearing in the ongoing Class 10 board exams, trying of pass on chits of papers with answers written on them.

But then, it is a scene common to many parts of Bihar during any big exam and the authorities have all but surrendered to the circumstances.

No wonder, an exasperated education minister PK Shahi put up his hands and admitted on Thursday that cheating-free examinations were not possible in the state, minus the cooperation of students’ parents.

More than 1.4 million students are appearing in the Class 10 board examination amid widespread reports of mass copying and cheating.

The exams, which began on March 17, are being conducted at 80,000 centres across the state.

Earlier attempts to stop mass copying had even triggered violent protests by students and guardians, highlighting a deep-rooted malaise in one of the country’s most impoverished states.

Shahi admitted to the media that holding “free and fair exam” was a big challenge for the Bihar government.

“The government cannot stop cheating in exams,” he said. “It is also the responsibility of the society to ensure cheating-free examinations.

“More than the government, the parents and guardians of students should come forward (to end the mass cheating),” he said.

The minister expressed the government's helplessness to hold a cheating-free exam.

Shahi said the situation in Bihar was so bad that at least four to five people helped every student to cheat.

“First, I appeal to parents and guardians to stop cheating to help the government ensure free and fair exams,” he said.

In the last three days, more than 600 students, caught cheating in the board examination, have been expelled, an official said on Thursday.

“The students were expelled on charges of adopting unfair means,” said Lalkeshwar Prasad, chairman of the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), which is conducting the examination.

Officials said over 1,000 students were caught cheating in examination in three subjects, including mathematics and English, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But just over 600 of them were expelled, he added.

Courtesy Hindustan Times