New Delhi: As many as six lakh students of Class 10 and 12 studying under the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Board (UPSEB), reportedly skipped exams because of the ‘cheating mafia’ shying away from work.

As per reports, the cheating mafia is curbing its activities owing to the “tough measures” taken by the education board against it. The high school and intermediate exams of the board started on February 7 and will end on March 2.

Speaking to The Times of India, UPSED secretary Neena Srivasta said, “There is also a decline of over 94 per cent in the number of students who had registered from Nepal and neighbouring states for Class 10 and 12 exams this year due to tough measures against the cheating mafia.”

Reportedly, the number fell from 1.15 lakh students in 2017 to 1.12 lakh in 2018 to only 6,300 students in 2019 as students failed to connive with school managers for clearing the exams.

The TOI report quoted former Allahabad University professor MC Chattopadhyay speaking about the declining number of students, “Around 11 lakh students had skipped the exams in 2018 and now the figure has reached over six lakh within first nine days of the exams itself. So, how did the strict measures really help improve overall scenario? The state government should revamp the education system and address the core issue.”

Nearly 252 students were caught cheating in the past nine days even after strict CCTV surveillance and monitoring by the UP special task force, in addition to use of bar-coded copies in every center.

On Friday, around 18 girls and boys were caught cheating in the physics, commerce and painting exam.