The Bihar-based gang involved in selectively leaking question papers of examinations for government jobs across the country had even tried to leak the question papers of the all-India premedical examination — NEET (National Eligibility Entrance Test) — conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The four members of the gang arrested by the Punjab vigilance bureau on Saturday, revealed during interrogation that they had “sold” the NEET question paper to some candidates but it (the one they had accessed) differed from what the CBSE actually distributed in the examination hall.
Surjit Singh, AIG, vigilance bureau, who is heading the investigation team, said though the gang had failed in leaking the NEET paper, it had managed to successfully leak question papers for a host of other examinations (see box). “Besides the information being gathered from the statements of the accused, we have secured electronic evidence from them about the other examinations that were compromised,” he said.
Meanwhile, the vigilance bureau is expected to recommend the cancellation of the examinations conducted by the Thapar University, Patiala, for the irrigation department on Sunday. “If the VB writes to us that the exam has been compromised, we will cancel it,” said secretary, irrigation, Kahan Singh Pannu.
The Thapar University is scheduled to hold recruitment tests for various posts in the Punjab water resources development board in the coming days. Pannu said he had talked to the VB officers and in view of the given situation, he has asked the board to ask the Thapar University not to go ahead with conducting the next set of recruitment examinations. However, the exact decision will only be known on Tuesday when the Punjab government offices open after the extended weekend.
With the fresh recruitment scam coming to the fore, the government that has in the past six months created a host of new posts in various departments, besides deciding to fill vacancies, is now in a fix where to get its recruitment examinations conducted from.
The state government had approached IIT Roorkee and IIT Delhi to conduct recruitment examinations for it, but both the institutes refused saying that they did not have the time to do this job.
The government then shortlisted Thapar University, Patiala and the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Amritsar, to conduct its examinations. GNDU is all set to recruit over 2,000 patwaris on behalf of the departments of revenue and irrigation.
The process of recruiting patwaris was started by the revenue department earlier this year when the Panjab University held the preliminary examination. However, following information that the question paper for the examination had been leaked by the same gang, the examination was cancelled.