Four-tiered security to plug leaks in PU exams, but will K’taka finally succeed?

From CCTV cameras to barcoding of question papers, the Karnataka Pre-University Education Department is coming out with a range of security to measures to prevent leaks.
Four-tiered security to plug leaks in PU exams, but will K’taka finally succeed?
Four-tiered security to plug leaks in PU exams, but will K’taka finally succeed?
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Four levels of security including biometrics. This level of heightened security isn’t for access to a bank. It’s for Karnataka’s pre-university exams.  

The Karnataka Secure Examination System (KSES) came into effect after the chemistry paper for the PU-II exams had to be held three times after the paper was leaked on two occasions in 2016.  

Following repeated instances of paper leaks during exams in Karnataka, the Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE) will now come out with a list of do’s and don’ts for students on the usage of social media ahead of the PU-II examinations in March.

Special parent-teacher meetings are also scheduled in the coming weeks to sensitise students about the issue and explain to them the ramifications of getting involved in paper leak cases.

“Students may get messages on social media, such as WhatsApp, during exam time. We want students to report these matters to their principals, who should in turn, report it to the department so that the authenticity of the papers can be examined. Very often, many of these papers doing the rounds are false ones,” an official told The Hindu.

According to the Karnataka Education (Amendment) Act 2017, any person involved in buying, selling even persons who are acting as a liaison can be imprisoned for a maximum term of five years or a fine up to Rs 5 lakh, or both.

Besides this, examination centres will get enhanced security cover this time around.

All examination centres will also be under constant surveillance with CCTV cameras in addition to the treasuries, where there has been round the clock remote monitoring since 2017.

"All other features of the KSES (Karnataka Secure Examination System), like biometric authorizations and barcode scanning of papers in all district head offices, will continue. Last year, we were unable to install surveillance cameras at the centres and restricted them to treasury offices. However, this year we have made sure that every centre is equipped with surveillance cameras," C Shikha, Director, DPUE told The Times of India.

KSES includes procedures of surveillance, a ready system to seek police intervention, barcoding of question paper packages and lastly limiting access to question papers using biometric identification.

In recent years, Karnataka has seen multiple incidents of paper leaks with the latest being the English second language paper for rural Bengaluru district for SSLC midterm exam in September, 2017.

During the 2017 PU-II examinations, the accountancy paper was allegedly leaked on WhatsApp. There was, however, no re-examination as the students had by then already started writing the paper.

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