After the recent cheating scam that was unearthed during the MD/MS entrance exam on November 10, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research authorities seem to be leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the re-examination scheduled for December 8 is a smooth run.
To ensure that this time no female candidate is left without being frisked at the examination centre, in the absence of adequate female security staff, PGI authorities have also requested the UT Police to depute female constables at all the 10 examination centres.
While the chief of security staff at PGI was unavailable for comments, a senior security officer confirmed the development and said that the letter to deploy female security staff on December 8 was sent to the UT police on Sunday.
Sources in the PGI said that the tertiary care institute had less than a dozen female security personnel in its fleet. On November 10, in the absence of any female security staff at the centres, none of the female candidates were frisked. Later, when the CBI sleuths raided the centres, seven female candidates were found to be dummy candidates, who were used to transmit the questions outside and were wearing special clothes with gadgets stitched inside their clothes.
Ironically, even though the instructions for the examination held on November 10 read that there would be frisking at the centres by the security staff or police personnel, only at few centres frisking was done and that too only for male candidates.
There are 10 centres where the MD/MS exam is going to be held on December 8 and the total number of eligible candidates is 7,285. However, last time only 5,700 candidates had turned up for the entrance examination.
Also the PGI authorities are going to impart special training to its own security staff on how to frisk candidates before they enter the exam centres. PGI had cancelled the test held on November 10 after the cheating racket was busted. In order to prevent the use of any unfair means, bug detectors, jammers would be used at all centres and frisking of the candidates would be done prior to their entry. This time, to be fully sure, the PGIMER has even banned wearing any jewellery, including nosepins, earrings, bangles etc.
Seven girls were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from examination centres in Chandigarh on November 10, while allegedly transmitting the question paper out of the centre. They were allegedly using sophisticated mobile applications on smart-phones to do this.
Following raids, the CBI arrested 16 people allegedly involved in leaking the entrance test papers.
Subject experts, who were sitting hundreds of kilometres away in Patna and Hyderabad, were delivering the answers of the papers to the ‘beneficiaries’ inside the examination halls through touts sitting in hotels in Chandigarh.
Can provide assistance, but can’t depute constables: SSP
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Chandigarh, Naunihal Singh, when asked about the number of lady constables who will be deputed to frisk students for the December 8 examination, he said the police could not depute lady constables. “We have not received any communication from PGI authorities, so far. Even if we do receive a request, it is not possible to depute lady constables. All we can do is that if any candidate is found using unfair means, we can register a case and investigate the matter,” the SSP said.
He added, “The examination was being conducted by PGI. So they have to ensure that students do not use unfair means. It is the job of an invigilator, and not of a police official. If the PGI authorities want, we can give them guidance with regard to the precautions they should take”.
Pointing out the precautions taken by the authorities who conducted the examination of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), the SSP said that it could be an example for the PGI authorities. Without the use of mobile phone signal jammers and other such equipment, the PPSC authorities were able to conduct the exam peacefully.
Rupanjali Karthik, PPSC secretary, said, “At a meeting of senior officials, a suggestion was made to install jammers at all the examination centres. However, when the expenses and consumption of labour of the entire programme was calculated, the idea was dropped”.
PPSC authorities had decided to install six hundred jammers, she said. Karthik added that jammers were not sufficient to block signals from all the telecom service providers.
The PPSC authorities then approached the Punjab Police and police constables in civil clothes were deputed at all the centre. The constables helped the invigilators. Also, the invigilators were made to undergo a training programme.
The UT police department has, so far, not received any request from the PGI authorities to depute lady constables to frisk women candidates at all the examination centres on December 8.