One key character in the drama of sinister allegations in Madhya Pradesh is the MPPEB itself — the examination board now so discredited that the government is considering changing its name from the popular Hindi acronym Vyapam.
MILIND GHATWAI profiles the body that has over the last decade conducted 21 examinations on average every year for appointment to government jobs and admission to educational institutions, for which a staggering 1.44 crore candidates — an annual average of 14 lakh — applied.
The Pre Engineering Board, constituted in 1981, is merged with the Pre Medical Test Board to create the Professional Examination Board (PEB), which holds entrance examinations for other educational institutions as well
The Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board Act is passed
STORY OF THE SCAM:
2000-12: 55 cases of impersonation in exams filed across Madhya Pradesh
Jul 7, 2013: Scam breaks ‘formally’ — Indore Crime Branch registers FIR after arresting 20 impersonators
Jul 16, 2013: Jagdish Sagar arrested
Aug 26, 2013: STF takes over probe
Oct 9, 2013: Results of 345 who took PMT three months earlier cancelled
Dec 18, 2013: Ex-Higher Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma booked
Dec 20, 2013: Uma Bharti, then BJP vice-president, demands CBI probe
Jan 15, 2014: Shivraj Singh Chouhan tells Assembly that out of 1.47 lakh appointments made since 2007, 1,000 were found illegal; later revises figure to a little over 200. But no action has been initiated yet
Jul 2, 2014: Chouhan says he will not only take political sanyas but renounce the world if found guilty
Nov 5, 2014: HC constitutes SIT
Feb 16, 2014: Opposition Congress reveals information sourced from a “whistleblower”, alleging the STF was protecting Chouhan. Whistleblower, later identified as Prashant Pandey, an external cyber expert engaged by the STF, alleged that documents retrieved from the computer of Nitin Mohindra, Principal Analyst, Vyapam, had been tampered with, and 64 mentions of “CM” scrubbed out and replaced by other names
Feb 20, 2015: Pandey moves Delhi High Court saying he “fears for his life”
Apr 16, 2015: MP High Court gives ‘truth lab’ report and pen drive carrying retrieved original data to SIT, which asks STF to investigate the matter
Apr 22, 2015: STF submits report on whistleblower’s allegation in sealed cover to MP High Court
Apr 24, 2015: HC prima facie accepts STF report that says the material submitted by whistleblower is “fabricated and forged”
Apr 26, 2015: Chouhan accuses Congress leader Digvijaya Singh of forgery
Jun 29, 2015: SIT reports 23 deaths of accused and witnesses linked to the Vyapam scam. Congress cries foul; BJP says deaths due to natural causes, not linked to Vyapam
Jul 7, 2015: After months of stonewalling, Chouhan relents, agrees to probe by the CBI.