The state government has announced an investigation following reports that question papers of the Maharashtra Teachers Eligibility Test (MHTET) for primary teachers, which was held on Saturday, were allegedly leaked on a social messaging app in places such as Dhule, Beed and Pune.
Education officials said that depending on the findings from the investigation, they will decide whether to have a re-exam. A decision will be taken in 48 hours, officials said.
Around 3.2 lakh teaching aspirants had appeared for the licentiate exam across 1,076 exam centres across the state. It is compulsory for teachers to qualify in this exam under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
According to the education department, the test papers meant for primary teachers were leaked online, before the exam began in the morning. On Saturday morning, a person, who was not an exam candidate, complained at the police control room at Kothrud in Pune about receiving a call from a person, who offered to send a copy of the paper on a messaging app for Rs50,000.
Acting on the complaint, the police approached the Maharashtra State Council of Examinations that conducts the exam. The council had also received calls about the leaked paper from Dhule and Beed.
“A student brought it to our notice that the solved paper was available on WhatsApp. On tallying the images of the paper, we found that they matched Saturday’s question paper,” said Purshottam Bhapkar, education commissioner. Police cases have been filed in Kothrud police station, he confirmed.
Education minister Vinod Tawde said, “The principal secretary, Nand Kumar, has been ordered to investigate the incident and submit a report within 48 hours. Stringent action will be taken against anybody found responsible for the leak including senior education officials.”