Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday ordered a high-level probe into the paper leak in the Uttar Pradesh Combined Premedical Test-2014 (UPCPMT-2014), which was detected in Ghaziabad minutes before the exams were set to begin across the state.
The exam will now be held one month later around July 20. The dates for the results, counseling sessions and joining colleges will be declared later.
UPCPMT-2014, conducted by the King George's Medical University in Ghaziabad, is the gateway to admission in state-run medical and dental institutes where there are more than 1,000 MBBS and few hundred dental seats.
The test was cancelled after officials of the district administration in Ghaziabad, along with the police and King George's Medical University (KGMU) officials, found that someone had tried to open the sealed boxes containing the question papers. The district magistrate of Ghaziabad said the boxes had been tampered with.
Officials, however, did not specifically say whether papers were missing from the tampered boxes.
To avoid further confusion, the KGMU website ran a flash on their website saying, "The district magistrate Ghaziabad has prima facie declared that there is tampering in the boxes of CPMT-2014 exam. The exam has been rescheduled for July 20."
Prof AK Singh, the examination controller at KGMU also confirmed the news.
The decision to reschedule the test left thousands of candidates angry and frustrated.
"My daughter was away in Bhopal for some work and she came back just for the exam. The entire effort went in vain," said RJ Jain, who was at her exam centre in Lucknow, where around 25,000 students were to take the test at 43 centres.
Approximately 1,09,219 candidates were to appear in the test at 213 centres across 15 districts for admission to various medical colleges in UP.
Taking cognisance of the paper leak, the chief minister has directed chief secretary Alok Ranjan to constitute a high-level committee, said the government spokesperson. The CM has also assured that strict action would be taken against those involved.
The opposition BJP was quick to pounce on the issue, demanding a CBI inquiry into the incident, claiming that the question papers were kept in bank strong rooms without CCTV despite the fact that "such question papers are been kept in government treasury strong room".
Party's Uttar Pradesh unit chief Laxmikant Bajpai alleged that a special task force investigation, "which the seems to be the case at present, would merely help in saving the accused who might be enjoying political backing".
The BJP also demanded that the state government should reimburse the fare as well as the cost of food and lodging to the candidates who suffered for no fault of theirs.
The paper leak has come as another setback to the Samajwadi Party (SP) government which is on the backfoot over deteriorating law and order situation and a spate of rape cases.