After a week of uncertainty over the paper leak, technology, a special bar coding system on all exam papers, helped crack the case.
On Tuesday morning, 510 final year BCom students appearing for the business economics paper at BNN College in Bhiwani inadvertently got a preview of the marketing and human resources management (MHRM) paper scheduled for the next day. At 11am, when exam supervisors in 17 of the 21 classrooms at the centre distributed exam papers, students quizzically looked at the paper. It was wrong. Fifteen minutes into the exam, supervisors realised the error. They snatched the papers and distributed the correct papers instead. By then, the damage was done. An SMS with questions that would appear in the next day's paper began circulating on Tuesday night.
When a university-appointed three-member committee visited the college on Saturday following a television channel report that the paper had leaked from there, all 20 supervisors denied any exam irregularities.
Despite repeated interrogation they denied an error had taken place. Finally, the bar coding system picked up that 510 students appearing for the exam from BNN College had in fact first written the exam paper code for the MHRM paper in their business economics answer sheets. Some had later crossed it out and written the correct code.
The university has come down strongly against the college. After an emergency meeting on Sunday, the university suspended the chief conductor of exams, DS Bhangre and two senior supervisors — RN Deshpande and Professor Jadhav. The college’s in-charge principal UD Kadam will take over as the new chief conductor. The college management will also have to conduct an inquiry into why 17 junior supervisors lied.
“We will have to follow the directives given to us by the university,” said Kadam. The university, in a possible first, has also decided to initiate a Criminal Investigation Department enquiry. It will file a police complaint against those responsible for the leak. The college management will also appoint an enquiry committee under a retired high court judge and submit a report to the university in six weeks. “The university will take strict action against those playing with the lives of students,” said university official Rajpal Hande.