Last week's leakage of the question papers for recruitment tests for tubewell operators has left the aspirants a shattered lot, cursing their luck and the state, which, they say, is gaining "notoriety" due to the frequent leaks of papers over the years.
"Our state appears to be gaining notoriety due to the frequent leaks of question papers for various competitive examinations for the government jobs," said a harried Himanshu Kumar (name changed on request), who was to take the test for recruitment of the tubewell operators on Sunday.
Kumar had come to Lucknow with his friend Mahendra Singh (name changed) from Faizabad, braving inclement weather, to take the test
Lamenting over the development, Kumar said, "All my efforts have gone in vain... another year has been lost due to the question paper leakage. I was quite confident of clearing it. But the paper leakage has dashed my hopes."
Recalling the events unfolding on the day of the test, Singh said he had come across reports on Sunday morning on WhatsApp that the question for another paper has been leaked.
"Initially, I had dismissed it as rumour. But when I reached the examination centre, it turned out to be true," he said. Reacting to some of the corrective measures, announced by the Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UPSSSC), the two welcomed them but dubbed them as "too late and too little".
"It's good that the UPSSSC has woken up to the malady, but it appears to be too late and too little," said Singh. The examination for recruitment of tubewell operators, which was to be held by the UPSSSC on Sunday, was cancelled on Saturday following the leakage of the question paper for Hindi.
The latest instance has occurred within months after the leakages of question papers for recruitment of assistant teachers in July and for those of police constables in June this year. They were followed by yet another leakage of question papers for online tests for recruitment of sub-inspectors (SI) in July 2017, followed by the surfacing of papers for the preliminary examination of Uttar Pradesh provincial services on WhatsApp messaging service platform in March 2015.
Earlier in June 2013, the state had witnessed leakage of question papers for recruitment of railway police constables followed by the May 2011 leakage of All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) question papers.
While the repeated leaks of question papers for various examinations have been undermining the chances of genuine candidates and sending the police on arduous hunts for the criminals, the undeterred miscreants have gone on perfecting the art of their craft, often deploying high tech tele-communications gadgets like spy mikes and cell phones.
The UP STF had arrested on Sunday 11 persons, including five candidates, and had seized from them five admit cards, 11 moblie phones and Rs 1.48 lakh from them. Earlier this year on July 29, the police had arrested as many as 51 persons from different parts of the state for their alleged roles in facilitating cheating during a recruitment examination for assistant teachers in the state.
Besides using various high-tech gadgets for facilitating cheating in various examinations, the gang allegedly used to hire professional impersonators from Bihar to sit in place of candidates to clear the tests on behalf of them, the police had revealed.
The professional "test-crackers" were generally found to be bright students from Bihar, who would sit in place of candidates, the police had found. Barely weeks priors to the unearthing of the racket, the police had held 19 others on June 18, allegedly for aiding cheating through hi-tech devices, such as spy-mics, and deploying professional "test-crackers" to take the examination in place of candidates aspiring for the post of constable.
The two-day examination for appointing 41,520 constables had been conducted by the UP Police Recruitment Board at 860 centres in 56 districts. Earlier in August last year, seven members of a gang allegedly involved in leaking question papers for an online test for police sub-inspectors were arrested by the UP STF.
The online examination had been organised by the UP Police Recruitment Board from July 7 to July 31 at 97 centres across the state. The test, however, had to be cancelled after the question paper was leaked on July 24 on various social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook.
During the probe, it was found that Rs 10 lakh had been charged from each of the "collusive candidates" by the gang, which used to install remote access tools in computers of examination centres to solve the papers, senior police officers had said.
Rattled by the use of unfair means through hi-tech gadgets in various competitive examination for government jobs, Rajasthan has off-late begun suspending mobile internet services in large parts of the state during the scheduled hours of the examinations.