After eight major government examination paper leaks in seven years, the Gujarat Government has emerged from its denial mode in the ninth one — and that too after a public outcry.
Stung by a barrage of allegations by the Opposition Congress and AAP, the State Government on Wednesday ordered a police inquiry into the reported leak of question papers of the December 12 exams for recruitment of head clerks.
Asit Vora, chairman of the Gujarat Subordinate Services Selection Board (GSSSB), who had all along denied there was any leak, told mediapersons on Wednesday that as many as 15 teams of the State Police had been drafted to look into the allegations.
As many as 80,000 candidates had appeared for the recruitment examination conducted by the GSSSB for 186 vacancies on December 12.
The very next day, Yuvrajsinh Jadeja, vice-president of the youth wing of the Gujarat unit of the Aam Aadmi Party alleged that the question paper was leaked and sold for Rs 6 lakh to Rs 12 lakh in various parts of the State.
Reacting to the developments, Gujarat Congress President Jagdish Thakor asserted, “Under the BJP rule, it is the whistleblower who is punished. It is a relief that the person who red-flagged the paper leak isn’t behind bars. For this government, paper leak is not new, they have been doing it since 2014.”
At a press conference on Wednesday, Jadeja not only claimed that he had evidence of the paper leak but also gave registration numbers of cars used to ferry the leaked papers.
He alleged that GSSSB chairman Asit Vora refused to meet a delegation to represent the issue and kept on parroting that he had not received any complaint.
However, Vora told reporters on Wednesday, “We have not received a single complaint about the leak, but we are making best efforts to maintain for transparency. Around 88,000 candidates had appeared at 782 centres for the exams out of the 2,41,400 applications for the 186 vacant posts of the head clerk.”
He said they learnt about the allegations through the media. “We immediately constituted 16 police teams. Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi has assured to take all steps to bring out the truth. No one will be spared,” he added.
The examination was held in six districts– Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Jamnagar. “We are in constant touch with the District Education Officer (DEO). As soon as the police finds any clues, the board will file a formal complaint with the police,” Vora said. “Till then, we won’t even release the answer keys to the examiners,” he added Vora.
AAP’s youth wing submitted a representation at Vora’s office seeking action in the alleged leak episode. They also demanded the candidates involved in the incident be blacklisted.
MAJOR PAPER LEAKS SINCE 2014:
- 2014 GPSC Chief officer
- 2015 Talati paper
- 2016 Talati Surendranagar and Gandhinagar
- 2018 TAT exams
- 2018 November: Mukhya Sevika
- 2018 Nayab Chitnis
- 2018 Dec LRD
- 2019: Non-Sachivalaya Clerks
- 2021: Head Clerk (85,000 candidates)