67th BPSC Prelims Cancellation ”Progress in Investigation”
About Bihar’s 67th Combined (Preliminary) Exam Cancellation
- BPSCs 67th Combined (Preliminary) Competitive Examination, held on May 8, was meant to pick the best among over 600,000 candidates for 802 key posts in the state administration, including the police and Bihar Administrative Service.
- But within minutes of commencing the exam, screenshots of one question paper set appeared on social media.
- BPSC authorities crosschecked the paper that had gone viral and found it to match ‘Set C’ of the exam paper.
- The leak established, the commission was left with little option but to cancel the exam.
- In the end, ironically, the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) had to cancel the examination after shocking reports of a question paper leak triggered an outcry across the state.
What are the main allegations?
- Screenshots of one question paper set appeared on social media within minutes of the exam commencing.
- Contrary to BPSC guidelines, CCTVs at the college were dysfunctional.
- There is also some evidence that 25 ‘select’ candidates were allowed to sit in a room and given the Set C question paper 25 minutes before the scheduled time of the exam.
- Apart from these immediate allegations, it is a well-known fact that the BPSC has its own dubious past.
- For example, former chairpersons of the commission were arrested for alleged irregularities at the time the Rashtriya Janata Dal was in power in the state.
What SITs Preliminary assessment indicates?
- A preliminary assessment indicates that Veer Kunwar Singh College (VKSC), one of the exam centres in Bhojpur, could be the source of the leak.
- Some examinees there have alleged that a select few candidates were allowed to carry their mobile phones into the exam centre and that they were made to take the exam in a separate room.
- Reports also suggested that the question paper was being exchanged through WhatsApp, Telegram and other social media platforms ahead of the exam.
What SIT team found?
- The probe was handed over to the Bihar police’s Economic Offences Unit (EoU), headed by ADGP Nayyar Hasnain Khan, and there have been some breakthroughs.
- The EoU has deputed a 13-member team, under the superintendent of police (cyber cell) Sushil Kumar, to crack the case. Investigations have picked up glaring irregularities in the way the examination was being conducted at VKSC.
- Four people, including Barhara block development officer (BDO) Jai Vardhan Gupta, have been arrested.
- Gupta was deputed as magistrate to oversee the examination at VKSC. The other three arrested are college principal Dr Yogendra Singh, centre superintendent Sushil Kumar Singh and lecturer Agam Kumar Sahay.
- Investigators have seized answer sheets and sought details of the suspect candidates from the BPSC.
Key role of an NIT Graduate
- An engineering graduate from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Patna, Anand Gaurav is stated to be the mastermind behind the question paper leak of preliminary examination for state civil services conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC).
- Gaurav’s name had earlier figured in the teachers’ appointment scam that surfaced in Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad in 2015. A member of the SIT said that Gaurav indulged in illegal activities after doing BTech from NIT, Patna.
- Each aspirant for the lucrative job in the state administration was charged anything between Rs 8 to 10 lakh for the ‘help’ extended to them in the preliminary examination, which was conducted on May 8.
Who is to be blamed?
- If the question was leaked after the seal was opened at the exam centre, the BPSC cannot be entirely blamed as the onus would be on the district administration and officials deputed for proper conduct of the examination.
- As per the established system, question papers, in sealed packets, are sent to district magistrates.
- The DMs depute officers to send the question papers safely to the exam centres, where the seals are opened at the scheduled time in the presence of the magistrate, centre superintendent and other observers/ officials, all of whom have to put in their signatures.
- However, while the breach may have happened at the exam centre level, the BPSC can be faulted for picking VKSC as one of the centres.
- Exam centres are to be selected only after scrutiny of facilities available in accordance with the laid down parameters.
A great loss to aspirants
- The cancellation of the examination was unfortunate because hundreds of thousands of students will have to reappear for it.
- The government has ordered an inquiry and if we assume that strict action will be taken but even if the authorities get to the guilty, the immense loss caused to the students cannot be undone, and it may be a while before the BPSC can shrug off the question paper leak taint.
BPSC 67th Pre Exam: A Timeline
- The BPSC had released a notification to fill 802 vacant seats in various government departments in the state.
- BPSC had invited online applications for the 67th Preliminary Exam from 30 September to November 19 2021.
- The preliminary exams were to be held in December but were deferred because of panchayat elections.
- The BPSC 67th Combined (Preliminary) Competitive Examination 2022 Admit Card could be download from April 25 onward through the candidate login Id.
Key Details about 67TH BPSC Prelims 2022
- BPSC 67th Prelims Exam 2022 was conducted on 08 May 2022 (BPSC Prelims Exam date 08th May 2022) by the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC).
- The BPSC Prelims Exam Paper was held for two hours.
- The BPSC Prelims 2022 paper was conducted in a single shift from 12:00 Noon to 02:00 PM.
- BPSC 67th Prelims Exam 2022 was held across 1,088 exam centres in the state of Bihar.
- About 6 lakh aspirants appeared in the BPSC Prelims 2022 exam.
What will happen next after the cancellation of the 67th BPSC Pre Exam held on May 08, 2022?
- Apart from the investigation which is going on, the BPSC is planning for re-examination as soon as possible.
- However, once an examination got cancelled due to a paper leak, the commission needs to be in continuous discussion with the government and state machinery for finding a new suitable date & mechanism for successfully conducting the 67th BPSC Preliminary Examination.
- It is quite possible that some government officials and officials from BPSC also come under the radar if a progressive investigation is done. In such a situation re-examination can take more than expected time.
- Right now the commission is optimistic to conduct a re-examination within the next three months.