Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said in February that 10 lakh students had opted out of the state board examination after his government decided to crack down on cheating. According to the government, CCTVs were installed in all examination centres and a special task force (STF) of the police created to help conduct free and fair exams.
The tight screening and anti-copying measures implemented by the government, which had vowed to ensure there was no copying this year, appeared to have reflected on the results of students who wrote the exam.
The pass percentage in the state board's Class X exam dropped from last year's 81.2 per cent to 75.16 per cent. The drop was sharper in Class 12 where the proportion of students who cleared the exam reduced by 10 percentage points, from last year's 82.6 to 72.43 per cent.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath later boasted that 72 per cent students had cleared the "cheating-less" board examination.
UP's education board officials have also linked the zero per cent pass results from 150 schools where all students failed - 98 of them in Class 10 and 52 in Class 12 - to the stringent steps taken by the board to come down heavily on cheating.
The state board has not shared the details about these 150 schools but last year too, nearly 180 schools had delivered similar zero per cent results.
This compares poorly with states such as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh where this year, only 21 and 17 schools have delivered a zero pass percentage report, respectively.
But this isn't the first time that Uttar Pradesh's pass percentage has dipped due to stringent steps to check cheating. The last time that a government had cracked down on cheating was in 2008 when then Chief Minister Mayawati was in power. Only 40 per cent had passed the class 10 exam while 65 per cent of 65 per cent students had then cleared in class 12.
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