How QR codes helped authorities detect moles during WB class X board exams | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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How QR codes helped authorities detect moles during WB class X board exams

Feb 18, 2024 04:18 PM IST

Officials suspect that a specific gang was working behind this and were just using the students. Specific WhatsApp groups were created by the gangs

Kolkata: Unique Quick Response (QR) code, embedded in every question paper in this year’s Madhyamik (class X board) examination help the authorities to detect moles in the system within a span of a few minutes, said a top official of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE).

The West Bengal Madhyamik examination began on February 2 and ended on February 12 (Representative Photo)
The West Bengal Madhyamik examination began on February 2 and ended on February 12 (Representative Photo)

“Over the past few years, it had almost become a trend in which the moment question papers were distributed in the exam halls, some students who managed to sneak into the halls with mobile phones, used to take pictures of the question papers and upload them on social media. They used to go viral in no time,” the official said.

In 2023, three pages of the 16-page English question paper of Madhyamik were circulated within minutes after the exam started. The WBBSE had said it was sabotage and not a leak because had it been a leak, all 16 pages would have been circulated.

“We held at least 20 meetings regarding this in the last one year on how to stop this menace and what technology could be used. We decided to use simple QR codes which would be budget-friendly and effective. This year, we have managed to bring down the menace to a large extent,” said the official mentioned above.

The Madhyamik examination began on February 2 and ended on February 12. More than 923,000 students appeared for the exam this year, which is 33% more than last year.

This year, the QR codes were embedded in each question paper, which helped the authorities detect the candidate who uploaded the picture almost instantly. At least 36 candidates were identified and their exams cancelled, another top official familiar with the matter said.

“The moment any question paper was uploaded on social media, we could scan the QR code and trace it back to the student who was given the question paper. It took us just a few minutes,” the official added.

Officials suspect that a specific gang was working behind this and were just using the students. Specific WhatsApp groups were created by the gangs.

“The student, who is sitting inside the exam hall and uploading the picture cannot benefit from this in any way,” he added.

Officials said that trends have shown that the question papers were being leaked from specific districts such as Malda district in north Bengal.

“According to the preliminary investigation report submitted by the police, we have come to know that a specific gang was behind this. Police are investigating. They are yet to give us the detailed report,” the WBBSE official said.

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