Uttar Pradesh: Govt Exam Paper For Tubewell Operator 'Leaked', Paper Sold For Rs 7 Lakh Each
The Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Service Selection Commission (UPSSSC) has postponed the tubewell operator recruitment exam scheduled for Sunday morning, September 2, after the Hindi question paper was found to have been leaked on social media on Saturday. Reportedly, the question paper was being sold for about Rs 7 lakh mere hours before the exam was to be conducted.
The UP Special Task Force has arrested 11 people in Meerut in connection with the paper leak, including five aspirants and a primary school teacher who is believed to be the mastermind behind the leak, as reported by Business Standard.
More than 2.5 lakh students were expected to appear at 364 centres for the exam on Sunday as part of a recruitment drive for 3,210 vacant posts of tubewell operators under the Irrigation and Water Resources Department, UP. Following the announcement, many students started protesting against the authorities outside their centres. As of September 4, no new dates have been announced for the exam.
The Police received a tip about a potential leak
According to the Indian Express, the UP Police had received a tip on Saturday informing them of a gang at Umrao enclave near Meerut Cantt Railway Station that was leaking the question paper of the tubewell operator exam.
The STF reportedly rushed to the station and arrested Sachin Chowdhary, a primary school teacher along with ten others. Chowdhary was caught red-handed while handing over the leaked question paper to aspirants on Saturday evening, 15 hours before the exam was to be conducted.
STF investigates how the leak occurred
Senior Superintendent of Police, STF Abhishek Singh said that the STF had recovered three handwritten answer sheets, five admit cards (of the arrested aspirants), 13 mobile phones and Rs 14.8 lakh from their possession. The police revealed that during questioning, Chowdhary admitted to charging Rs 6-7 lakhs from each aspirant, and had called the five aspirants on Saturday evening to the railway station to provide the answer sheets of the question paper.
According to the Hindustan Times, Chowdhary frequently made phone calls to specific numbers recently, which the police believe are involved in the paper leak. Singh said Chowdhary is now being questioned to know the source of the leak.
The UPSSSC chairman CB Paliwal was promptly alerted about the leak when he received a question paper on WhatsApp revealing that the questions from the leaked paper matched the real question paper. Paliwal had then informed the STF, who tracked down the culprits and seized the leaked papers in Meerut.
Reportedly, the UPSSSC is waiting for the final report from the STF before taking any action.
Similar instances in the past
Many complaints were received against the July 15 examination conducted by the UPSSSC for recruitment to 641 posts in 14 departments of the state government. Reportedly, the same private agency as in the case of the Tubewell Operator exam was involved in printing the question paper for the July 15 exam.
Another case is that of the Trained Graduate Teacher (TGT) exam conducted by the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Selection Board (UPSESB) on July 29, the same day as when the STF had arrested a ‘solver gang’ and recovered an LT Grade Exam paper. The Allahabad High Court has asked the UP Government officials to verify through a personal affidavit whether the seized paper matched the actual question paper.
The Logical Indian take
It is a reflection of the employment scenario in the country when aspirants are ready to pay lakhs of rupees and use illegal methods just to acquire a job with a maximum monthly pay of Rs 20,000. The Logical Indian urges the authorities to take strict action against the accused and to take better preventive measures to avoid future leaks of question papers.