The Maharashtra State Board's counsellors, who man the helplines, were inundated with phone calls from Monday afternoon till Tuesday evening from 250 worried students appearing for the HSC exams. Students were calling in after they had received an SMS asking them to call the helpline demanding for a re-examination of the Physics paper that took place on Monday.
The counsellors at the board office in Vashi said that students started calling on Monday soon after the physics examination ended and continued calling till last evening. Anil Ghadhe, one of the counsellors, said, "As far as we understand, the students were made to believe that each of their calls would count as a vote and with mounting votes, the authorities, having no option, would carry out a re-examination of the Physics paper. However, this is completely untrue and the SMS is absolutely fake."
Students from far and wide Thane, Alibaug, Nagpur, Sangli, Yavatmal called in after receiving the SMS as many students said that the Physics exam was extremely difficult. Ashish Bharadwaj, a HSC Physics student from GR Patil College, Dombivli, said, "I received the SMS from a friend and immediately called the helpline. However, officials told me that the message was a fake. But by then, I had already forwarded the message to my other friends."
And if tackling with worried students wasn't enough for the counsellors, they also had to placate some parents who had called the helpline. "We weren't receiving calls from just students. Some parents too called us asking if a re-examination would take place," said Jayant Ghadge, another counsellor. Reacting to the fake SMS, Laxmikant Pande, divisional chairman of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education appealed to the students not to trust such rumours or fake text messages and instead concentrate their energies in giving their next examination.