Two years after paper leak, 60k to reappear for 456 Punjab govt posts

Imperfect score: Results of test for 670 posts in local govt dept at PU in 2015 were cancelled after leak; exam now on January 28

punjab Updated: Jan 10, 2018 18:33 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
paper leak,Punjab local government,Punjab govt posts
The “recruitment scam” had also dented the image of Panjab University, Chandigarh, which had held the selection test on behalf of the state government.(Representative image )

Nearly 100 times more applicants than the posts. But those with “poor marks” in their engineering degrees too turned top scorers. Their answers were identical and so were their mistakes.

More than two years after nearly 67,000 applicants had appeared for 670 posts in the Punjab local government department in November 2015, most will reappear for the exam on January 28 for 456 posts after a paper leak and vigilance probe led to its cancellation.

According to the FIRs registered by the Punjab vigilance bureau in 2016, many among the 50 “toppers” had advance access to question papers. During investigation, some of them could not even write their statement in English. The probe also revealed that question papers were leaked to a few candidates in Lucknow, who sold them to others.

SAD was left red-faced when party councillor from Malout Sham Lal Gupta ‘Daddi’, an associate of party’s Muktsar unit president Dyal Singh Kolianwali, was arrested in the scam.

The “recruitment scam” had also dented the image of Panjab University, Chandigarh, which had held the selection test on behalf of the state government. Local bodies minister Navjot Sidhu has now entrusted the job to Thapar University, Patiala.

The public notice issued by the department guides candidates to the university’s website for downloading the new entry cards and centres.

Issued on December 27, it says the examination for 456 posts of assistant corporation engineer, assistant municipal engineer, sub-divisional engineer, junior engineer and senior assistant/inspectors that had been cancelled on November 28, 2016, because of “question paper leak” will be held on January 28. The results of the written test for the above posts were declared in December 2015.

The two-year delay may have made some candidates ineligible (the age limit for applying for the posts is 38 years). Local government director Karnesh Sharma said the recruitment for 182 remaining posts is clear and the entire process will be completed by March 31 this year.

Toppers who weren’t

The vigilance FIR said candidates listed as top 50 had applied to appear in the examination for the posts of junior engineer and sub-divisional engineer (SDE), which were to be conducted on the same day within hours of each other. However, 19 of these 50 “toppers” appeared only in the exam for the SDE post and remained absent for the JE exam (the pay scale and status of SDE is higher than a JE). These students allegedly had access to the question paper for the entrance exam of the SDE and appeared only for that.

Akali ‘link’

The Shiromani Akali Dal, then in power, was left red-faced when party councillor from Malout Sham Lal Gupta ‘Daddi’, an associate of party’s Muktsar unit president Dyal Singh Kolianwali, was arrested in the scam. A confidant of the then CM Parkash Singh Badal, Kolianwali was later given a clean chit by the VB.

(Note: The headline of this story has been updated. Earlier, we had wrongly mentioned ‘546 Punjab govt posts’, instead of 456. We regret the error.)

First Published: Jan 10, 2018 09:40 IST