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Panjab University scraps public administration exam after paper leak on WhatsApp

The cheating racket came to light after the exam superintendent confiscated the mobile phone of a candidate, who was reappearing for the paper after failing in the previous attempt.

chandigarh Updated: Dec 17, 2017 12:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University,WhatsApp leak,public administration examination
The WhatsApp grouptitled ‘papers’ had 255 members, of which eight were administrators. (Reuters File Photo)

Panjab University on Friday cancelled the public administration examination for fifth semester of bachelor of arts (BA) after the paper was leaked on a WhatsApp group.

The exam was being conducted in 192 colleges affiliated to the varsity in Chandigarh and Punjab. Now, it has been rescheduled to December 23.

The cheating racket came to light after the exam superintendent confiscated the mobile phone of a private candidate from Kharar, Anil, at DAV College, Sector 10, around 9:20am. He was reappearing for the paper after failing in the previous attempt, said sources.

The superintendent, who did not wish to be named, said an outsider seen in the corridors near the examination rooms raised her suspicion. On questioning, he said he had come to meet a friend, said the official.

“We got hold of the student named by the outsider, and upon checking we found a mobile phone in his pocket,” she said.

On checking the mobile phone, the authorities found Anil had been added to a WhatsApp titled ‘papers’.

Anil was separated from other students and not allowed to attempt the paper.

“Around 10am, answers of the ongoing examination started appearing on the group,” said the superintendent.

However, the student kept saying he did not know who added him to the group.

Modus operandi

The WhatsApp group had 255 members, of which eight were administrators, said sources.

The crime branch officials, who reached the spot around 10:30am, said the numbers in the group were from various districts in Punjab, including Pathankot and Faridkot.

A candidate had taken a photograph of the question paper using a mobile phone and sent it to the group. Soon after, some outsiders uploaded the answers titled ‘answer of question 1’ and so on, said police sources.

No complaint yet

After the college authorities informed Panjab University about the racket, a two-member team reached there around 11:30am. PU controller of examinations Parvinder Singh, who is also the dean, college development, joined them around 1pm. Later, he along with college principal BC Josan went to the university. But after returning around 1:45pm, both decided not to register a police complaint and let the student return home.

Talking to HT, Josan said, “We have sent the case to the university authorities, and now the action will be taken by them.”

“We have cancelled the examination after discussing the matter,” said Parvinder Singh. “It is for the college to register a police complaint as the student was caught on their premises.”

Meanwhile, two more students were found cheating during the exam. Around 11pm, when other students taking the exam were checked, two were held with a Bluetooth device. However, when their phones were checked, they were not found to be members of the WhatsApp group.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 22:08 IST