Indian state bans students from wearing shoes, socks at board exams

NEW DELHI, Feb. 23

India’s eastern state of Bihar has banned students appearing for this year’s Class X board examinations from wearing shoes and socks, to curb cheating.

“The board has decided that candidates wearing only slippers will be allowed to enter the examination halls, those coming to the centres wearing shoes and socks will have to remove them outside the hall,” head of Bihar School Examination Board Anand Kishor told the media.

“The board has taken this decision to prevent cheating,” he added. A total of 1.7 million students are appearing for this year’s Class X board exams in Bihar that began on Wednesday and will continue till next Monday, another senior official said Thursday.

Bihar hogged limelight for mass cheating in 2015 when photos of parents and friends of students climbing school building walls to pass on answers were published by local media.

Some photos even showed policemen posted outside the exam centers accepting bribes to look the other way. Some 750 students were expelled and 300 arrested by Bihar government after the incident prompted ridicule on social media.

Cheating in school exams has been going on in Bihar for a long time. A mafia, comprising teachers and school authorities, connives with parents who bribe them to rig entire answer sheets. Sometimes teachers even appear at exams on behalf of students.

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