New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) class X and XII exams will still see hard copy question papers, said reports on Saturday. That means CBSE’s solution of double encrypted questions papers which are printed just half an hour before the exam will only serve as a backup of the coming board exams.

According to a report in a leading daily, it was logistical reasons that forced the board to not go for the double encrypted question papers as the main paper. The exams will start from mid-February 2019 with the vocational courses
first, while the academic subject exams will start in March.

Unlike the earlier plan, the board will continue with the conventional method of delivery of question papers to the exam centres. Following leakage of question papers in the 2018 board exams, CBSE had pilot tested double encrypted question papers which were printed at the exam centres during the Class X compartmental exams in July 2018. The committee set up by the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) after the paper leaks had also reportedly recommended this option.

The double encrypted question papers were delivered to the exam centre via email 30 minutes before the exam. The passwords were sent separately to the exam centre superintendent. The question papers were printed at the centre. The board proposed to the MHRD using encrypted question papers in July 2018 to the MHRD so as to minimise human intervention.

“For the forthcoming exams, double encrypted papers will be kept as a backup option only. The Board did consider using the technology for the exams of the vocational subjects to be conducted in February 2019 where the number of students is significantly low. But the idea was shelved and we decided to continue with the in-practice delivery mechanism. However, CBSE has put in place a number of security measures to strengthen the safety of question papers during their journey from the printer to the exam centres,” a senior HRD official was quoted as saying.

“Delivery of double encrypted papers question papers is not feasible at present as many centres (schools) in remote areas do not have the required facilities. Moreover, in case of a centre with over a 1,000 candidates, it won’t be possible to print 16,000 pages of question papers within 30 minutes. However, a second set of double encrypted papers, which will be different from the hard copies, will be kept as a backup option,” said the official.