The Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) cancelled the class 10 general science exam about nine hours before it was about to have started from 9 a.m. on March 13.
Many students across the State turned up at their examination centres, unaware of the cancellation of the exam after reports that the general science question paper of the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) examination, 2023, had been leaked.
An embarrassed Education Minister, Ranjo Pegu told journalists that the SEBA was forced to cancel the exam close to Sunday midnight after getting information about the paper’s leak.
The last time an HSLC examination paper got leaked was in 2006, he said.
Mr. Pegu said the question papers were kept at the police stations and they were to have been dispatched to the exam centres on Monday morning.
“I spoke to Director General of Police, G.P. Singh after the SEBA filed a police complaint,” he said, asserting that the guilty would be punished after a thorough investigation.
Reacting to demands for his resignation, Mr Pegu said, “It is for the Chief Minister (Himanta Biswa Sarma) to decide.”
A notification signed by SEBA Controller of Examinations, N.J. Sarmah earlier, said: “…a news is telecast in a section of media today evening that a hand written model question paper of HSLC examination of General Science (C3) subject, which is to be held on 13 March, 2023, is available in the hands of some candidate and it is also spread in the social media.”
“We have a belief that such news may create a confusion in the minds of the candidates and keeping in view of this, the examination of General Science (C3) subject…is hereby cancelled,” the notification further said.
The next date of the general science exam would be notified in due course, SEBA officials said.