Friday, November 16, 2012

Cheating Racket: MD/MS Entrance Exams Cancelled
The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) today cancelled its MD/MS entrance examination held here last week after a cheating racket was unearthed by CBI.

"In the wake of an FIR filed by the CBI and a copy of the same received by PGI authorities, it was decided by the administration that the entrance examination for January 2013 session, which was held on November 10, would be scrapped to avoid litigation and other complications," PGIMER spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said here.

The examination for holding the entrance test for the MD (doctor of medicine)/MS (master of surgery) is now likely to be conducted in the second week of December as per availability of centres for the entrance examination, she said.

She said that in the absence of PGIMER Director Dr Y K Chawla, a meeting was chaired by the institute's acting director, Dr Vinay Sakhuja and attended by senior functionaries, after which the decision to cancel the examination was taken.

The decision will affect 7,300 candidates, who appeared for the 78 post graduation seats in various departments of PGIMER in 11 different examination centres set up in the city.

CBI has arrested 16 people so far after its sleuths swooped down on examination centres and arrested seven girls who were writing the exams with the help of blue-tooth hearing devices embedded in their ears.

Meanwhile, a local court today extended the remand of 15 of the arrested accused in the case by another two days.

CBI special counsel told the court that they have procured the documents from the PGIMER authorities last evening, on the basis of which decoy candidates had applied for the examination.

Now, the CBI would be required to take the accused to Hyderabad to ascertain the source of these documents and the details of the attestation authority, the counsel submitted.

"We have got the documents of these decoy candidates from the PGIMER last evening and now we would check that from where these supporting certificates, with application form, came. It will also be checked from where these documents were attested and for that we might require to go to Hyderabad to collect more evidence," the counsel said.

The investigating agency said that so far in the interrogation, the accused have not revealed anything about the identity of actual beneficiaries and also about the amount charged from them.

"We have recovered four tablets from the possession of the accused and so far. However, so far the source of only one tablet has been ascertained. The arrested accused have not revealed other details like identities of the actual beneficiaries, amount received and how the money was utilised," the CBI special counsel P K Dogra said, adding they have also seized five inner jackets whose source was yet to be ascertained.

The defence counsels opposed the plea for further remand and said that CBI sleuths are "unnecessarily harassing" the accused.

Earlier, the institute had withheld for an indefinite period the result for its MD/MS entrance examination on Saturday.

During the CBI probe, it had come to light that the arrested girls, who were acting as facilitators for other beneficiaries, were using hi-tech gadgets including bluetooth devices, smart phones and buttonhole cameras to transmit questions to other gang members, who were outside the examination centres after which solved questions were relayed back.

The gang kingpin would provide sophisticated equipment like pen-scanners, micro-earphones with bluetooth facility and wireless ear plugs to the students, who had hidden them in places like undergarments, collars and hair bands.

Special clothes were ordered for the accused girls appearing in the entrance test and the devices were fixed at the time of stitching of the garments, CBI probe has revealed.

Soon after the question paper was given to the students, the accused girls would scan the entire paper using the specially designed pen, which was then transmitted out using sophisticated gadgets.

The answers were relayed back to the students using the minute hearing aids.

The key accused K Gangadhar Reddy, whom CBI arrested from Patna, and P Gurivi Reddy, kingpin, who carried out the entire cheating operation here, had been arrested by the police in Andhra Pradesh two years back in the Engineering and Medical Common Entrance Test paper leak case, and were out on bail later.

The PGIMER had earlier said that there was no lapse on its part that it failed to detect that the accused girls who are from Andhra Pradesh were not meeting the eligibility criteria of having a valid MBBS degree for appearing in the examination, as the institute only takes photocopy of certificates from them while the original documents are only verified once the candidates have cleared the examination.

The accused girls, who appeared in the examination, were provided "special training" and given Rs one lakh each.

According to CBI sources, the gang used to charge hefty sums of money per candidate.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time that fingers have been raised over the entire admission process pertaining to the postgraduate medical courses at the PGIMER.

Two years back, the premier institute was hit by an admissions racket, after CBI arrested two junior resident doctors--on charge of fraudulently securing admission in the postgraduate courses.

During the investigations, it was allegedly found that both had secured admission through impersonation.

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