Lucknow: Over 66 lakh students are writing the Uttar Pradesh board examinations which began on Tuesday at over 8,500 centres across India's fourth largest state.
The number of students appearing for the exams this year increased by 11 lakh over the last year, Dinesh Sharma, deputy chief minister told PTI here on Tuesday.
Sharma also holds the portfolio of minister of Secondary Education and Higher Education, Science and Technology, Electronics, Information Technology in what is India's most populous state.
"This time nearly 66.37 lakh students are appearing in the UP board examinations. This is the largest board of its kind in the world," he said
"Last year, there were 55 lakh students who had appeared in the board examinations out of 60 lakh who had filled the forms," the deputy chief minister said.
In 2017, there were 11,415 examination centres, and this time the numbers have gone down to 8,549 because of strictness shown by the state government, he said.
He said all the examination centres have been equipped with CCTV cameras and generators have been arranged.
Sharma said, "We have also reduced span of examinations, which used to be a two-and-half month long affair. This time the board examinations will last for one month and five days. Before Holi, the class 10th board examinations will be over, while for class 12th only one examination will be left a couple of days after the festival".
"We are also coming up with a course schedule by which, board examinations from next year will be a 14-day affair," he said.
Noting that the primary reason for exodus of students from government schools is poor infrastructure, Sharma said very soon all the government schools and 16 state universities of UP will have wi-fi facility.
"My endeavour is also to bring the aided schools in this ambit as well. We have already held talks in this regard with some industrialists who will be attending the investors' summit to provide us free wi-fi and internet connectivity, so that our virtual classes can function," he said.
He said the holidays have been cut and the birthday of any eminent personality will be celebrated by holding a programme, which will help the students know about the life and work of the personality.
"We have also included yoga in syllabus of physical education. In government schools, girls are being imparted taekwondo training along with Yoga," he said.
He also said as many as 166 new modern schools with virtual and modern classes will be opened in state, of which 42 will be in the minority dominated areas.