Pune: As many as 8.60 lakh students will be appearing for primary and secondary scholarship examination for Std V and VIII conducted by Maharashtra State Council of Examination (MSCE). The exam will be held on Sunday (February 18) from 11 am to 3 pm.
In comparison to last year, the number of students appearing for the exam has reduced from 9.5 lakh students by almost one lakh.
MSCE officials cited the eligibility criteria for appearing for the merit-based scholarship exam of secondary and higher secondary education as one of the reasons for the decrease in number of candidates. Till 2016, scholarship examination for Std IV and VII was being conducted, however, only last year, the State government declared that scholarship examination will be held for Std V and VIII.
“Due to change in eligibility criteria, the number of candidates appearing for the exam has gone down,” said Dattatraya Jagtap, Chairman of MSCE.
“A major setback, which we have faced, is that many students shift to private schools after Std IV, due to non-availability of secondary education at the existing school. Similarly, in 2016, the State government had declared that Std I to VIII will be treated as primary education. However, many schools have not included Std V in the primary section, which is why there are less number of takers from the class. Also, many students from Std VIII avail for national means cum merit scholarship scheme (NMMS),” he added.
“Another reason is the meagre amount of the scholarship. Although a few months back, we had proposed to the government to increase monthly amount from Rs 100 to Rs 500 for Std V and from Rs 150 to Rs 750 for Std VIII students, till date, we have not received any communication regarding the same. Until then, the existing facility will be provided to students,” said Sukhdeo Dere, Commissioner of MSCE.
About the exam
† There are around 3,570 centres for almost 4.89 lakh candidates from Std V and 6,177 centres for approximately 3.7 lakh candidates from Std VIII across Maharashtra. In Pune, there are over 51,000 and 30,000 candidates from Std V and VIII respectively. 303 centres for Std V and 175 centres for Std VIII are allotted in Pune.
† MSCE has for the first time introduced carbonless OMR sheet, which will enable students to take a copy of their answer sheet home for future references. The barcode number will be provided to the students with their seat numbers as well.
† The candidates of Std VIII will have to mark on two options out of four.
† 20 per cent of the questions for Std VIII candidates will be as such that students will have to mark on two relatively similar options out of four given options. If a student does not mark on both options right, he/she will be given zero marks for that question. While candidates of Std V will have to mark only one correct option out of four given options.
† The students have to acquire a minimum of 40 per cent to be eligible for the scholarship.