The Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) has, as part of its efforts to prevent cheating, asked students not to wear shoes and socks and instead wear slippers to the upcoming Class X board examinations beginning on February 21.In the past, Bihar has hit the headlines for mass cheating and toppers scam in Class X and Intermediate board examinations.In the just-concluded Intermediate examinations, 985 students were expelled for resorting to “unfair means” and 25 were caught for impersonation.“The board has decided that only candidates wearing slippers will be allowed to enter the examination halls… those coming to the centres wearing shoes and socks will have to remove them outside,” said BSEB chairman Anand Kishor. “Of late, many agencies conducting entrance examinations too have banned shoes and socks inside examination halls.”Last year too, shoes, socks and even full sleeve shirts were not allowed inside the exam centres. “It might sound bizarre, but it is necessary as mass cheating in board examinations has become a regular feature in the State for the last several years… it is only in the last two years that the BSEB has started taking tough measures,” said Sanjay Kumar, a student. Last year too, the BSEB had taken tough steps, following which most of the students had failed to clear the class X and Intermediate board examinations. Earlier, toppers in the board examinations had hit the headlines when they were caught on camera giving ridiculous answers to basics questions on their subjects. In all, 17.70 lakh students will sit for the board examinations this year, scheduled to be held from February 21 to February 28, at 1,426 centres across the State.