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Hundreds Arrested in Indian Academic Cheating Scandal

Indians climb the wall of a building to help students taking an examination in Hajipur, in India's Bihar state, March 18, 2015

Authorities in India arrested nearly 300 people Saturday in connection with a massive academic cheating scandal this week in the northeastern state of Bihar.

The alleged crimes involve a crucial examination that more than a million 10th-grade students across India are taking. The test results are said to largely dictate a person’s educational options and socioeconomic status.

The crackdown followed the publication of photographs and the broadcast of video clips showing parents, relatives and friends climbing the outside wall of an exam center in Bihar state to give test-takers the answer sheets.

A Reuters report said some of the answer sheets were folded into paper airplanes and flown into the exam room.

As many as 750 students were expelled, according to media reports.

Bihar's education minister, Prashant Kumar Shahi, responded to the cheating scandal by asking the question: “What can the government do to stop cheating if parents and relatives are not ready to cooperate?”

Some parents contend students are ill-prepared for the examinations, saying the schools lack qualified teachers.