Over one lakh candidates of the Combined Pre-medical Test (UPCPMT-2014) went back acutely distressed from their examination centres all over Uttar Pradesh on Sunday after the question paper was leaked. The leak was detected in Ghaziabad minutes before the exam was set to begin.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has ordered a high-level probe into the case. The UP STF would be investigating the matter. But, the state BJP chief has demanded a CBI inquiry into the paper leak.
As many as 1.10 lakh candidates were to appear at 213 centres in 15 cities in the state in the test being conducted by the world-renowned King George Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow. The exam will now be held a month later on July 20. Dates for the results, counseling sessions and joining colleges will be declared later. The test is for admission in state-run medical and dental institutes offering about 1,000 MBBS and a few hundred dental seats.
The test was cancelled after Ghaziabad district administration officials, along with those from local police and KGMU discovered tampering of the sealed paper boxes containing the question papers. Officials, however, did not clarify whether any papers were missing from the tampered boxes.
KGMU immediately ran a flash on their website saying, "The district magistrate Ghaziabad has prima facie declared that there is tampering in the boxes of CPMT-2014 exam. The exam has been rescheduled for July 20." AK Singh, the KGMU examination controller also announced the news before media channels.
The abrupt postponement of the exam created great confusion at the examination centres throughout the state, and left thousands of candidates, who had travelled from distant places for the test, angry and frustrated.
"My son took an expensive flight from Mumbai just to appear in this test. But now the entire effort and a lot of money has gone down the drain," said a rather anguished RK Srivastava at an exam centre in Lucknow, where around 25,000 students were to take the test at 43 centres.
The BJP was quick to pounce on the issue, demanding a CBI inquiry into the incident. "Who took the decision to keep the papers at the bank instead of the government treasury?" asked UP unit chief LK Bajpayee. "There is a clear conspiracy in the cavalier manner the authorities involved have handled the safety and security of the question papers," he added. "This is not possible without political backing or involvement of some big fish," he said.
The BJP also demanded that the state government reimburse the fare as well as the cost of food and lodging to candidates who suffered for no fault of theirs.
Sources tell dna that in a rather surprising deviation, the question papers this time were kept in two banks in Ghaziabad instead of the strong room of the government as has always been the practice. "The papers were kept at SBI and Allahabad Bank. What we find extremely fishy is that there was no CCTV surveillance at SBI," said an STF official involved in the investigation. "Also, the papers were delivered through a private courier who did not even care to get a receiving from the bank," he added. The STF's preliminary probe has also revealed another gaping hole – no one from the KGMU was present at the time when the papers were delivered at the bank.