Nearly an hour before first-year engineering students were about to take a paper on Electrical Engineering on Friday morning, a faculty at Modern Education Society’s College of Engineering discovered that the exam paper had not only been been leaked, but a few students had already accessed it on their mobile phones.
As an exam paper leak concerns not just the college but the entire faculty — the exam is a centralised one conducted by the varsity — officials at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) were informed about the issue. But while a team of university officials visited the college to gather facts, authorities allowed the exam to go ahead with the same question paper which some students already had on their mobile phones. However, SPPU Vice-Chancellor Wasudeo Gade said a committee has been instituted to look into the incident and the college has been asked to file an FIR.
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Confirming the incident, college principal Dr A A Keste said, “We reported the incident to university officials, who asked us to conduct the exam. They came to the college and gathered all the details. They will investigate the matter now.”
Asked if a police complaint has been filed by college authorities, he said he wasn’t aware of that and the university would decide on the matter. According to sources in the college, the incident came to light when a staff member became suspicious about the content of a student’s mobile phone.
“On inspecting the mobile phone, we realised that the paper had already leaked and the matter was reported to college authorities. The university officials were promptly informed and we asked them what should be done. The varsity officials instructed college authorities to go ahead and conduct the exams with the same question paper. It is unclear why this was done, as there are more than one set of question papers for every exam,” said the staffer.
However, the Vice-Chancellor said he was trying to gather more details of the incident. “It appears that the college received the paper at 9 am… at 9.45 am, college authorities informed someone in the exam section about the paper leak, but the university officials got to know about it only after 10 am, when the exam had already started. We couldn’t have withdrawn the paper in the middle of the exam… our officials visited the college to ascertain the facts,” said Gade.
He added, “We have now instructed the college to file an FIR… and the university committee, in its report, will establish how far the
leak was. We are very clear on the fact that no one will be allowed to get away with undue advantage and if need be, we will conduct the
College sources said the leak may have taken place from one of the affiliated colleges.
“The papers are sent to the colleges about an hour before the exam. The students are supposed to receive them right after that… however, these details can only be confirmed by varsity officials,” said the source.
Controller of Examinations, Ashok Chavan, did not respond despite several text messages and calls.