Matriculation result in time: Mass education minister

Bhubaneswar: The Crime Branch would investigate the matriculation question papers theft case and the chief minister Naveen Patnaik has given order in this connection. The school and mass education minister Pratap Jena stated this in the assembly today while taking part in the debate on the issue. The minister assured that steps were being taken to publish the matriculation regular examination in time despite shift in the examination schedule due to the theft of question papers.

The entire Opposition demanded that the chief minister and the mass education minister must tender resignation for the problem. Accusing that the problem has affected lakhs of high school students appearing at the HSC examination, the Opposition demanded that the government should order for a judicial probe or else the investigation should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The school and mass education minister said that the chief minister has asked for a Crime Branch investigation of the question papers theft case and the examination of English subject which took place on March 21 had to be cancelled since the question papers of several subjects were stolen on the previous day. The Board of Secondary Education (BSE), Odisha, which conducts the matriculation examinations, has been asked to decide the fresh examination schedule for the subjects.

The minister assured that the students would not face hurdles for admission into intermediate and other courses as steps were being taken to publish the result on June 30 as per the earlier schedule. In the worst case, Jena said, the announcement of the result might be hardly delayed by one week.

The minister informed the house that the government was planning to prepare second set of question  papers to avoid such crises and to set up nodal centers at the district level under the supervision of collectors and SPs for safe custody of question papers. Pratap Jena also said that from next year onwards efforts would be made to publish the result on the same day on which CBSE/ICSE boards publish results.

Meanwhile, orders have already been placed for printing of new question papers and the BSE would receive the papers by March 10. The BSE is expected to announce the new examination schedule very soon.