“While Mumbai had five cases, Nagpur division had the highest — 78 cases, followed by Nashik, where 43 cases were reported. Pune had 19 and Aurangabad 18 cases. Amravati had eight cases and two in Kolhapur. No cases were reported in Latur and Konkan on day one,” chairman of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Sarjerao Jadhav said.
The board has constituted 284 flying squads, of which 27 are in Mumbai. The state board has also enlisted the help of collectors’ offices in all divisions and the local police to check malpractice.
Jadhav said the board’s campaign of ‘malpractices and copy-free board exams’ has helped them check the menace to a large extent.
“Our main aim is to create a stress-free atmosphere for students. We have tried to extend as much support to students possible. Students unable to make it to their stipulated centers due to any emergency were also allowed to appear for the exam at the center closest to their location,” Jadhav said.
Anshul Wagle, a student from Dombivali, fell ill on her way to the exam centre — Bedekar College in Thane. However, the board allowed her to write the exam at a centre near her residence. “The girl’s father requested us to allow her to appear for the French paper at a centre near her residence. We allowed her to write the exam from Model College in Dombivali. We made arrangements to send the question paper and provided extra time to the student,” said Laxmikant Pande, secretary of Mumbai Divisional board. “Her father requested us to allow her to appear for all other exams from the Dombivali centre, which we have sanctioned.”
Calls on helpline
The board received 140 calls on Wednesday and 176 calls on Thursday. “Most students said they lost their hall-tickets, many called asking for help as they felt they have not studied enough,” said Laxmikant Pande, secretary of Mumbai Divisional board. “We also received calls from many handicapped students and their parents requesting for a centre nearest to their residence. We verified their claims and sanctioned nearest centres in genuine cases. On day one, we sanctioned nearest centres to nearly 100 handicapped students.”