Hours after the HSC physics exam on Tuesday, the state board helpline was buzzing with calls from students who complained that it was tough and they had difficulty completing it.
A total 78,145 students were expected to take the physics exam being conducted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. Many callers said the first section was particularly difficult and some expressed unhappiness over the length.
"Since the time I heard that the physics paper was tough last year, I was worried about it would be difficult this year too and that is exactly what happened," said Kedar Sathaye, a student of Dhyanganga College, Thane. Last year too, students were disappointed by the physics paper and there were demands for a re-examination.
On Tuesday, the education board received more than 60 calls within a couple of hours after the exam concluded at 2pm.
"Students asked about the minimum marks required to pass and the grace marks that they could avail of. We have advised them to concentrate on studying for the papers that are ahead," said a counselor on the helpline.
This is the first batch of students appearing for the exam on the new syllabus. The students said there were no questions outside the syllabus, however, part one (general physics) was tougher than part two (modern physics). "Generally it is the other way round, but part two had many numerical questions and hence could be completed quickers."
But teachers differed with the students. "The paper did not have any problems. In fact, it was much easier than the paper last year. Everything was from the text. The students who are complaining may not have prepared well," said a physics teacher from Sathaye College, Vile Parle.
Students in the commerce stream, who appeared for the secretarial practice, and those in arts, who appeared for political science, were satisfied with their papers.
"The political science paper was extremely simple, but some did find it a little lengthy," said Sanika Palsikar, a student of Ruia College, Matunga.
More than 32,000 students appeared for the political science paper and 1,18,077 students appeared for the secretarial practice paper.
Total 99 cheating cases on Tuesday
A total 99 cases of cheating were registered across the state on Tuesday. Of these cases only nine were in the Mumbai division. "In the Mumbai division, seven cases were in Bhiwandi region and two were in Vile Parle," said Laxmikant Pandey, chairperson of the board's Mumbai division.
Boycott of assessment work continues
Junior college teachers continued their boycott of assessment work, saying they would take up work only after the government issues a resolution fulfilling their demands. Consequently, a scheduled meeting of chief moderators for the physics, political science and secretarial practice exams could not be held.
"We have maintained that we will call off the boycott only after the government resolution (GR) is issued," said Anil Deshmukh, secretary, Maharashtra State Federation of Junior College Teachers' Organisation. Gangadhar Mhamane, chairman of the state board, said the school education minister had assured that the GR would be issued in a couple of days.