Guwahati: Seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention, opposition party Assam Jatiya Parishad on Friday demanded the removal of SEBA chairman Ramesh Chand Jain for the leak of class 10 board papers and asked for a judicial probe into the scandal.
AJP sent a letter to Modi to apprise him of the recent developments regarding the class 10 state board examinations and sought his “immediate intervention into the matter”, the party’s president Lurinjyoti Gogoi said at a press conference here.
“This mismanagement, paper leak and postponement of examinations at the eleventh hour has disturbed the mind, intellect and the preparations of the innocent students and that is certainly going to affect their future prospects,” the letter stated.
AJP alleged that the Assam government has failed to provide quality primary and secondary education, which is one of the most basic responsibilities of the administration.
“The people of Assam, including the students and intelligentsia, have expressed deep concern over the irresponsible act of the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) and demanded appropriate action against the wrongdoers, including the chairman of the board, for the failures,” it added.
Gogoi, in the letter, pointed out that Ramesh Chand Jain, a retired IAS officer, has been holding the position of SEBA chairman for seven years in a row “despite several such failures in the past”.
“What’s even more surprising is that the government has arrested some teachers and students to hush up the failure but no action has been initiated against the chairman of the Board or his subordinates,” he added.
AJP alleged that the chief minister and the education minister have, in fact, protected the chairman and others, including the officer-in-charges of the police stations.
“We all know that the question papers are prepared, printed and distributed by the Board and are kept in the police stations for safe custody before distribution to the examination centres. Hence, the officers of the police stations also cannot escape the responsibilities of the leak,” it added.
In connection with this, the opposition party pointed out that the Home Department is under Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was also holding the education portfolio for one-and-a-half decades in previous governments.
“Under the said circumstances, we demand that the chief minister and the education minister must take responsibility for the paper leak. We also demand a high-level judicial enquiry against the Board of Secondary Education, Assam and removal of the chairman without any further delay,” it added.
AJP also mentioned in the letter that the SEBA has been “conspiring and working against the Assamese language” by eliminating the subject much against the will of the people of Assam and against the stated principles of the Government of India.
On Thursday night, the CM said the Assamese paper has been leaked, and advised the SEBA, which conducts the exams, to cancel the test and reschedule it.
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Late at night, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu said the examinations for the Assamese paper as well as other Modern Indian Language (MIL) subjects and English were cancelled. These exams will now take place on April 1.
Earlier, the General Science question paper of the class 10 exam was leaked on March 12 night, and the exam scheduled on the next day was cancelled thereafter. According to a SEBA notification, the examination for the subject will now be held on March 30.
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