**Bhubaneswar:** Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and DGP RP Sharma on Monday reviewed the district-wise preparations for the upcoming High School Certificate (HSC) examination conducted by Board of Secondary Education (BSE) Odisha.
In a high-level meeting chaired by Padhi, discussions were held on examination centre management, distribution and transportation of question-cum-answer booklets, evaluation of the booklets and security arrangements.
On this occasion Padhi said that HSC examination is most relevant for the future of students as large number of candidates in comparison to other examinations appear for it. Therefore, he directed the Board authorities and all district Collectors for smooth conduct of the examination.
The DGP asserted that any illegal activity related to the examination is a cognizable and non-bailable offence. He directed all SPs to deploy adequate police force in each and every examination centres in their respective districts to check such offences. He also asked them to provide security during transportation of question-cum-answer booklets.
Development Commissioner Asit Kumar Tripathy suggested BSE and School and Mass Education department to be alert and check spread of rumours regarding leak of questions papers. Special officials will be deployed for the said purpose, was decided in the meeting.
School and Mass Education Secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra informed that the HSC examination this year will commence from February 22 and end on March 8. In total 5,87,720 students will appear the examinations at 2953 centres.
In total 304 nodal centres have been identified across State for safe custody of the question papers and 701 despatch teams will be used to transfer the booklets from the nodal centre to the examination centres.
Mohapatra further said that arrangements have been made to start evaluation of the answer sheets from March 25 and complete it by April 7. There will be around 60 evaluation centres in different districts.
He also informed that the question-cum-answer booklets will be sent to the examination centres on the day of the examination between 6 AM to 8.30 AM, amid tight security. The booklets will have three-tier covering. While the first cover will be opened after receiving the booklets, second cover will be opened in the examination hall in front of the examinees and third cover will be opened by the examinees.
While mobile phones have been banned in the examination centres, the examinees will enter the examination centres at 9 AM on the first day of the examination and at 9.15 AM on the remaining days. Both boys and girls will be frisked thoroughly to check any malpractice.
For better supervision of the examination, the Government has formed 58 flying squads, 44 special squads and 6 zonal squads. Section 144 will also be imposed in respective examination centres if needed.
Mohapatra also informed that a 17-point standard protocol has been issued and all examination superintendents have also been trained to follow the same.
Among others, Finance Secretary Ashok Kumar Meena, senior officials of School and Mass Education department, BSE authorities, District Collectors, SPs and Education Officers attended the meeting through video conferencing.