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Candidates Boycott Range Officer Exam in J&K After Paper Leak, Probe on

According to the candidates, wrong papers were distributed in two instances, and the papers were not recalled despite the "gaffe".

Aakash Hassan | News18.com@Aakashhassan

Updated:March 28, 2019, 11:12 AM IST
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Candidates Boycott Range Officer Exam in J&K After Paper Leak, Probe on
Representational image (Reuters)

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission(J&KPSC)-administered Range Officer Forest exam which took place on Wednesday saw few takers, as several of the candidates raised a hue and cry over a paper leak.

The candidates refused to appear in the examination and started began a protest against the J&KPSC, an autonomous body responsible for recruiting candidates to various key positions in the state civil services.

According to the candidates, wrong papers were distributed in two instances, and the papers were not recalled despite the "gaffe".

On March 24, candidates appearing for the “English essay” paper were surprised to see that they had been given the General Knowledge papers.

“Instead of English essay paper, General Knowledge papers were distributed among students and when students raised questions they were immediately replaced by the English essay papers,” Ishfaq Ahmad, a candidate said.

Then on March 25, candidates who were taking the judicial exam were given the Silviculture paper, which was scheduled for Wednesday. It was at this time when a candidate at the examination centre in Jammu took down and circulated the questions.

“We were expecting that the paper will be changed because it is already leaked,” said Ishfaq, “however, when we saw the question paper on Wednesday, it was same.”

Following an uproar, J&KPSC released a statement on Wednesday in which they admitted that the wrong paper had been circulated.

According to the statement, the incident happened as a result of the papers being packed in the wrong box. J&KPSC, in its statement, said that the “wrong papers circulated to some candidates” were “immediately collected back by Supervisor after finding that they were not the relevant papers”.

The examiners, however, decried the justification. “How was a paper scheduled for three days later circulated and then how did they manage to get the actual question papers within a few minutes?” a candidate asked.

“There is a proper procedure and channel through which question papers are delivered. The question papers cannot be at the examination centre from two days before it is scheduled,” said a distressed candidate.

Candidates have also alleged corruption in the J&KPSC.

“We believe whatever mess is happening is to favour some candidates,” the students alleged. "It appears that there is a nexus between some officials and candidates. This is being done deliberately to leak the papers."

Meanwhile, JKPC’s Deputy Controller of Examinations in Srinagar has taken up the matter with concerned Police Station and an FIR is likely to follow.

The Director General of Police J-K and the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir have also sought a detailed report on the incident.

The Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Satya Pal Malik also promised strict action against officials involved in the paper leak. “This is unfortunate. I have sought a detailed report in this,” he told News18. “If the paper has leaked a new exam will be conducted and strict action will be taken against the officials involved.”

The J&KPSC Chairman, Lateef uz Zaman Deva did not respond to calls from News18.com.

The candidates were appearing for examination that were set as a requirement for 44 posts of RO Grade –I, advertised last year .

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