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More than 180,00 students did not appear for Uttar Pradesh board examinations on the first day following the strict measures initiated by the Yogi Adityanath-led government to check copying in the exams.
The UP Board examination for class 10 and class 12 commenced yesterday and will continue till March 12.
"On the first day of examinations yesterday, over 1,80,826 students did not appear. It included over 53,100 high school and over 127,000 intermediate students," Deputy Director Education Vikas Srivastava told PTI.
An Education Department official said this number was due to the number of measures initiated by the state government, including installation of CCTV cameras in exam halls and using STF and local intelligence to check activities of education mafia.
A total of 66,37,018 students were registered to appear in this year's UP board exam. These include 36,55,691 appearing for class 10 exams and 29,81,327 students for class 12 exams.
In Hardoi, 11,141 students--3,065 of high school and 8,076 of intermediate--were absent, in Azamgarh 8,842 students--6,754 of intermediate--were absent, Jaunpur 6,330 students--4,516 of intermediate--and Gonda 6299 students--4376 of intermediate--did not appear for the exams.
In Firozabad, 5,214 students were absent, Mainpuri 4,922, Hathras 5,567, Moradabad 6,034, Gorakhpur 4,193, Sant Kabir Nagar 5,160 did not appear for exams.
Last year, the overall pass percentage for Class 10 was recorded at 81.18 per cent and in Class 12, 82.62 per cent students were declared successful.
Over 60.61 lakh candidates--3.4 million for Class 10 and 2.6 million for Class 12 were registered for the high school and intermediate exams in 2017.
However, due to strict measures 594,000 candidates left the exams and 1,862 examinees were caught copying.
With a view to clamp down on cheating in the state board examinations, the state government this year took help from the Special Task Force (STF) and local intelligence agencies to keep an eye on the "education mafia".
He said the government had taken the help of the STF and local intelligence agents in doing away with education centres infamous for mass cheating. The number of examination centres have also come down from over 12,000 to 8,500.
The deputy chief minister, who also holds the portfolio of the secondary education department, had made it clear that no unfair means would be tolerated and anyone found copying or promoting it would be dealt with strictly.
"We have studied all the possible ways and means of unfair means during the examinations. Those appearing in an exam impersonating someone else or involved in changing answer sheets before they reach evaluation centres will not be able to do so. Effective measures have been taken," Sharma told PTI.
The measures to prevent cheating include frisking students before they enter the examination halls, dividing centres in sectors, appointing administrative officers as sector magistrates and issuing prohibitory orders within 100 metres of the centre.