PSC exam fraud: Probe to be extended to first 100 rank holders
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided to extend the investigation regarding the conduct of police constable examination after the accused in University College stabbing case were confirmed to have conducted malpractices in the exam. The investigation will be extended to the first 100 rank holders in the rank lists of seven battalions of police.
The phone details of the accused on the exam day and the previous days will be checked with the help of cyber police. PSC decided to give a letter to the police chief demanding criminal investigation. The procedures for appointment to seven battalions will be stopped until the investigation is complete. The rank list of Kasaragod battalion will be published by ousting three accused. If more candidates are found to have involved in the malpractice, the rank lists will be cancelled.
Police have found that 174 messages were delivered to the mobile phones of first rank holder Shivaranjith and second rank holder Pranav during the exam time. Shivaranjith is the first accused in the University College stabbing case and was ousted from SFI. Pranav is the former SFI leader of the same college.
A total of 96 messages were received to Shivaranjith’s phone from two numbers and 78 messages to Pranav’s phone from three numbers during the exam hours between 2 pm-3.15 pm. The SMS were received from four numbers in total and were sent to both from one number among them. This is suspected to be the answers. PSC has asked the police to conduct the probe focussing on these numbers.
One of the phone numbers suspected to have used for the malpractice is owned by Vattakkarikkakam native Safeer who is neighbour of second rank holder Pranav. Safeer is a painter and is still using the number. But his relatives said that he is not knowledgeable to tell the right answers. Another number is owned by Kallara native Arjun. But he claims that he sent four personal messages.
Three possiblities for question paper leakage
The investigation has found that the questions were leaked to get the answers via SMS. There are three possibilities for this malpractice.
- Leak the questions through WhatsApp from the exam hall. The question booklet is given to the candidate 10 minutes before the exam. The booklet seal is opened at 2 pm. The questions might have leaked during this time with or without the help of invigilator using smart phone, smart watch or pen cameras. No digital devices like mobile phones are allowed in the PSC exam hall. But it seems that they have used such devices secretly.
- The candidates will keep any old question papers in hand and the original will be thrown out of the hall. There are allegations that exam malpractices have taken place in this manner earlier.
- The third possibility is leaking question papers from some other exam centres. The answers for the leaked questions will be found out from some other location and will be informed to the candidate through modern facilities.
PSC chairman M. K. Sakeer said that PSC has no facilities to find out the exam malpractices committed using hi-tech systems. It is found in the investigation that the police exam malpractice took place in the same way.