By Vivek Shukla
It's not only Rajasthan government's premier recruitment agency – Rajasthan Public Service Commission – is facing allegations of paper leak and large scale rigging in recruitment examinations, the Employee Selection Board (ESB) of the neighbouring Madhya Pradesh also faces allegations of recruitment fraud. ESB had earlier also hit the national headlines for large scale rigging in recruitment when it was known as Vyapam.
The government has renamed Vyapam to ESB to wipe out the notoriety it had gathered in 2013 when the infamous recruitment scam surfaced involving large number of politicians, bureaucrats, middlemen, impersonators and job aspirants. Nearly 45 persons related to the scam died under mysterious circumstances. But renaming could not stop resurfacing of ghost of recruitment scam.
7 out of 10 toppers from BJP MLA owned centre
The controversy is related to a recruitment test for Group 2 posts like Patwari. In this examination seven out of 10 toppers came from a nondescript examination centre in Gwalior – NRI College of Engineering and Management, it is owned by BJP MLA Sanjeev Kumar Kushwaha from Bhind. Around 9.80 lakh candidates appeared in the test out of which little more than 8,000 qualified the test. The controversy erupted when some unusual pattern was noticed in the papers of the toppers:
• The roll numbers of top scores ranged from 24887991 to 24889693, from a pool of roughly 1,700 candidates. Considering that 9.8 lakh individuals took the exam, the odds of such a coincidence are highly suspicious
• The answer sheets of the toppers reveal that they signed their exam forms in Hindi but answered the papers in English.
• These candidates accurately answered 15 questions which were later cancelled by the ESB because incorrect options were provided as answers. No marks were awarded for these questions.
• One of the seven toppers scored 185 marks. With the ESB removing 15 questions, it meant that the candidate got 100% marks.
• In the body-marking column (in the answer sheet), one selected candidate wrote in English: ‘Cut on mark nose'; whereas the correct English would be ‘cut mark on nose''. Arun Yadav wondered how she got 100% marks in English.
The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has denied any irregularities in the recruitment test. The home minister Narottam Mishra accused the Congress of trying to “mislead” people ahead of the scheduled assembly polls in the state later this year.
In recent past, three tests – agriculture extension officers, senior agriculture officers and nursing staff in 2021 – were cancelled by the state government due to allegations of rigging. In the examination of agriculture extension officers papers of the top 10 scorers were found nearly identical and they all committed the same errors in their exam. After an enquiry, it was found that the paper was leaked by the private company which was contracted to conduct the exams. The company is the same which had already been mired in controversies due to the Vyapam case.
“In Patwari recruitment test also, there is a strong suspicion that the question paper may have been leaked,” Congress leader Arun Yadav said adding that CBI probe will clear the air around this.
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