Cash for marks scam: Assam CM orders action against guilty

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has asked the Education Department to take stern action against the offenders after the Assam police arrested two people and detained seven others in Kamrup Rural district for alleged reports of awarding higher marks to the students appearing for Class 10 board exams this year in lieu of cash.

Sarma said that he has got some reports of irregularities in the evaluation process of the cancelled examinations and asked the Education Department to take strictest action against the wrongdoers.

“I have asked the Education Department officials to conduct a video conference urgently with all the district officials and school inspectors to get the exact position of the irregularities, if any, and take appropriate stern action against the offenders. None would be spared if found guilty,” the chief minister told the media on Tuesday.

Police in Assam’s Kamrup Rural district on Saturday and Sunday arrested two persons and detained seven others including a school principal, a school inspector, coordinator of the state board and a data entry operator for allegedly offering to change marks of students appearing for Class 10 board examination this year in lieu of money.

Kamrup superintendent of police Hitesh Chandra Roy said that a case has been registered against the accused at Changsari police station and investigation is on.

Like other state governments and the central board, the Assam government had earlier announced to cancel Class 10 and Class 12 board examinations this year due to the rising Covid-19 pandemic and instead devised an evaluation formula based on results of previous year and internal assessments.

Results of the evaluation process were to be announced by July 31. High School Leaving Certification (HSLC or Class X) and the Higher Secondary (Class XII) are conducted by the Board of Secondary Education Assam (SEBA) and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) respectively.

Opposition Congress in Assam has also urged the government to revise the evaluation system of Class X and XII state board exams in view of the arrest in the Kamrup Rural district.

Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia demanded that the entire matter be given due importance by the government in general and the state’s education department in particular. “Keeping in mind the future of our students, the valuation system should be re-examined. Instead of valuation, we demand that a proper scientific system should be adopted to take the students to the next level. I request the chief minister to take proper corrective action and save the future of our children,” Saikia told the media.

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