Purported images of two pages of the Life Science question paper of the class 12 State board examination surfaced on WhatsApp on March 18, over two and half hours after the commencement of the test.
The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, which conducts the exam, said this could not be termed a paper leak and described it as an act of mischief.
Council President Chiranjib Bhattacharya said some vested interests must have circulated the image of the question paper long after it had begun, when it was almost nearing close.
"If the images are circulated two and half hours after the exam started, what is the big deal? Candidates can leave the exam hall by that time and if anyone clicks a pic of two pages outside the venue and circulates them on social media, that does not in any way reflect on the conduct of the exams," Mr. Bhattacharya told PTI.
He appealed to the "mischief mongers" to desist from such "childish pranks" and help smoothly conduct the ongoing exams in the interest of every candidate.
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Mr. Bhattacharya added that CCTV surveillance at 2,349 venues and the use of Radio Frequency Devices in some of the over 200 sensitive venues to detect presence of any electronic devices made it almost impossible for the scope of a question paper leak.
Still, the Council is on guard, he said.
Sensitive venues are located in various districts and the highest of them are in Malda.
Mr. Bhattacharya said the Council was tracking the source of the circulation of question paper on WhatsApp and will submit a report to the government.
While there had been reports of question paper images circulated on WhatsApp in the class 10 State board examinations this year, in 2019 and earlier, this is the first time that such an incident is reported during the higher secondary (HS) exam in recent times.
The HS exams began in West Bengal on March 14.