Patna: Days after shocking visuals of parents and helpers, scaling three- to four-storey exam centres to pass on chits to their wards, emerged, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday directed authorities to take strict action against those who assisted students in cheating.
The Bihar CM further told schools to conduct cheating-free exams in Bihar.
"Students cannot go forward in life on the basis of such exam certificate but on the basis of their talents," Kumar said after holding review meeting during the day in which he ordered to stop cheating in the ongoing matriculation examination in the state, and action against policemen and magistrates deployed on examination duty if found involved in abetting cheating.
He said the pictures of cheating in matriculation examination were not the story of the entire state.
"Students from Bihar are talented and have shown their mantle across the world ... Some photographs showing cheating cannot dominate on merit of the students," Kumar said in his Facebook post.
"I urge parents, relatives and friends who help the students in cheating that you are ruining the future of the students as well as Bihar," Kumar added.
The state government has asked Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and police chief PK Thakur to further tighten arrangements at examination centres.
Bihar's exasperated Education Minister PK Shahi had on Thursday admitted that cheating-free examinations were not possible in the state, minus the cooperation of students' parents.
The Patna High Court has converted a report of large-scale cheating in matriculation examination published in an English daily as PIL and directed state police chief to stop copying immediately.
Opposition BJP attacked the state government for failing to stop cheating in the matriculation examination.
"The fact is that the state government has gone into deep slumber as a result of which the entire system seems to be crumbling," Leader of Opposition in Bihar assembly Nand Kishore Yadav told reporters.
More than 1.4 million students are appearing in the Class 10 board examination amid widespread reports of mass copying and cheating.
Shahi admitted to the media that holding "free and fair exam" was a big challenge for the Bihar government.
"The government cannot stop cheating in exam," he said. "It is also the responsibility of the society to ensure a cheating-free exam.
"More than the government, the parents and guardians of students should come forward (to end mass cheating)," he said.
The minister expressed the government's helplessness to hold a cheating-free exam.
"It is not possible to fully stop cheating during exams or hold exams where students don't go for unfair means."
Shahi said the situation in Bihar was so bad that at least four to five people helped every student to cheat.
In the last three days, more than 600 students, caught cheating in the board examination, have been expelled, an official said on Thursday.
"The students were expelled on charges of adopting unfair means," said Lalkeshwar Prasad, chairman of the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), which is conducting the examination.
Officials said over 1,000 students were caught cheating in examination in three subjects, including mathematics and English, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
But only a little more than 600 of them were expelled.
The Board's Special Examination Cell also said seven parents have been arrested for supplying chits to their wards at Rohtas and Siwan in the past two days.
Cheating during examinations is rampant in Bihar. Attempts to stop mass copying often triggers violent protests.
The images of the mass cheating also went viral on the social media with several prominent personalities including former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah posting the pictures.
(With Agency inputs)