Vikas Srivastava, the Deputy Director Education told PTI, "On the first day of examinations yesterday, over 1,80,826 students did not appear. It included over 53,100 high school and over 1.27 lakh intermediate students."
Another Education Department official said that the huge number of absentee students was because of the extra measures government has introduced this year to prohibit malpractices during the board exams. The state government has installed cameras in exam halls, and is using the services of STF and local intelligence to check activities of education mafia.
This year, a total of 66,37,018 students had registered for the board exams in Uttar Pradesh. These include 36,55,691 students appearing for class 10 board exams, and 29,81,327 students appearing for class 12 exams.
As reported by PTI, in Hardoi, 11,141 students (3,065 of high school and 8,076 of intermediate) were absent, in Azamgarh 8,842 students (6,754 of intermediate) were absent, Jaunpur 6,330 students (4,516 of intermediate) and Gonda 6299 students (4376 of intermediate) did not appear for the exams.
In Firozabad, 5,214 students were absent, Mainpuri 4,922, Hathras 5,567, Moradabad 6,034, Gorakhpur 4,193, Sant Kabir Nagar 5,160 did not appear for exams.
In 2017, 81.18 per cent students who appeared in class 10 board exams had been declared pass and in class 12 82.62 per cent students were declared successful.
In 2017, 34.04 lakh for Class 10 and 26.56 lakh for Class 12 had registered for the high school and intermediate exams. Last year too, 5.94 lakh candidates had skipped appearing for the exam due to strict measures and 1,862 were caught cheating in the exam.
The objective behind deploying STF and local intelligence agencies this year was to conduct copy free exam and preventing the education mafia in causing mischief said the Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma.
He said that the government had taken the help of the STF and local intelligence agents in doing away with education centres which were infamous for mass cheating. Thus, the number of examination centres this year have also come down from over 12,000 to 8,500.
The Deputy Chief Minister also holds the portfolio of secondary education department and had made it clear that anyone found practicing any unfair means during the exams would be dealt with strictly.
"We have studied all the possible ways and means of unfair means during the examinations. Those appearing in an exam impersonating someone else or involved in changing answer sheets before they reach evaluation centres will not be able to do so. Effective measures have been taken," Sharma told PTI.
Some of the measures adopted to prevent cheating include frisking students before they enter the examination halls, dividing centres in sectors, appointing administrative officers as sector magistrates and issuing prohibitory orders within 100 metres of the centre.
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