The buzz about a massive scam in admission and recruitment tests in Madhya Pradesh conducted by the Professional Examination Board (PEB), which conducts examinations for admissions and recruitment to various courses and government jobs, saw scamsters rig tests by employing imposters to write papers, manipulating sitting arrangements and even supplying forged answer sheets.
The scandal allegedly saw candidates bribe officials, rig exams by deploying imposters to write test papers and supply forged answer sheets during the recruitment conducted by the state-run board between 2012 and 2013. Over 1,800 arrests have been made so far.
What was the scam?
While investigating complaints that imposters were appearing in the pre-entrance medical test (PMT), police in Indore stumbled on multiple rackets involved in large-scale fraud in examinations conducted by the Professional Examination Board (PEB). Most entrance and recruitment tests conducted by the PEB were rigged for years.
Among the tests rigged were the PMT 2008-13, Pre-PG test for postgraduate medical courses 2012, and recruitment exams for contract teachers, food inspectors, police constables and Ayurvedic medical officers.
Who, how many were affected and how?
As many as 1,087 ineligible students got admission in medical colleges from 2008 to 2013. Their admissions were cancelled. Thousands of candidates who appeared in the rigged tests failed to get any benefits.
The modus operandi
Several gangs operated with the connivance of PEB officials to manipulate sitting arrangements in examination halls and to fill optical mark recognition answer-sheets. While the rate started from Rs 15 lakh for the PMT, the rate was more than Rs 50 lakh for admission in PG (Medical).The key accused and their alleged role
The investigation was handed over to the Special Task Force (STF) of the state police. The high court is monitoring the STF’s investigation directly and through a SIT. Separate cases have been registered for investigating scams in different tests. More than 1,800 people have been arrested so far.
Former education minister Laxmikant Sharma was booked for fraud in the contract teachers recruitment test and arrested. He is in jail. His former officer on special duty (OSD), OP Shukla, and former PA Sudhir Sharma too are in jail.
Shukla was charged with allegedly taking Rs 85 lakh from suspended officials of the PEB – director and controller of tests Pankaj Trivedi and principal systems analyst Nitin Mahindra – for getting candidates selected.
Dhanraj Yadav, former OSD to Governor, is accused of being involved in the recruitment of a large number of candidates through his links with suspended PEB officials.
DIG RK Shivhare, a suspended IPS officer, was arrested for allegedly getting candidates selected in the sub-inspectors recruitment test. His daughter and son-in-law were allegedly involved in fraudulently cracking the pre-PG (medical) entrance test.