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Gandhinagar, Tuesday: In all 14,72,224 candidates are writing the Gujarat Secondary Education Board standard X and XII examinations in different streams being held from March 10 to 31, 2011, Education Minister Ramanlal Vora informed here today.

In a major policy decision to reduce the stress level of the students and their guardians, the Minister said that the Board has decided to take examinations from this year in only five subjects, instead of seven earlier. They are mainly Gujarati, English, Mathematics, Science-Technology and Social Science.

In order to ensure smooth and impartial conduct of the examination, he said, the administration has deployed over 50,000 staff of 12,000-odd schools, to be monitored through 144 zonal offices at 879 places in 3,930 examination centres in 59,640 blocks. Examinations at the sensitive centres will be video-graphed.

Three-tier preventive steps have been taken to check copying and other irregularities. They constitute (1) 1,244 squads comprising 4,000 staff to cover all the districts, (2) district-level ‘moon' vigilance squads of experienced staff headed by the Collector, and (3) over 50 ‘sun' flying squads. The employees and officers have been given special training to check irregularities and at the same ensure genuine examinees are not disturbed. Re-examination may be ordered at centres reporting mass irregularities.

Giving other details, the Minister said that there are 4,595 physically challenged candidates in Standard-X and 2,657 in Standard-XII. It is being ensured they write papers in the ground floor itself. Writers allowed for candidates will be given 30 minutes extra, for which the Civil Surgeon's relevant certificate has to be produced.

The Minister said that there has been a sharp decline in the number of calls to the Helpline, owing to effective steps taken by the government in the previous years.

The Minister wished good luck to all the students, asking them to write the tests without any fear or stress, on the basis of knowledge acquired during the term. He said that it is also the moral duty of candidates and their guardians to help the authorities for smooth conduct of the examinations.

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