What does the scam involve?
Examinations and recruitment tests conducted by Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) over the last several years were manipulated to help those who had paid bribes. Top MPPEB officials colluded with organised syndicates, brokers, politicians, parents, and students.
How did it work?
MBBS students from neighbouring states (they were called “scorers”) would be engaged as impersonators for weak students from MP. Seating arrangements inside the hall would be adjusted to ensure that the “scorer” sat next to the student who copied the answers. Another way involved leaving the OMR sheets partially blank so that they could be filled later at MPPEB headquarters.
When did it come to light?
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Indore Police stumbled upon it ahead of the pre-medical test (PMT) in 2013 and arrested more than a dozen students and “scorers”. Even private colleges were found involved. As the scam began unfolding, the investigation passed from Indore’s crime branch to the Special Task Force and is now being monitored by the high court.
Were other entrance exams and recruitment tests manipulated?
Yes. It began as a PMT scam but as investigations progressed, more than a dozen exams and recruitment tests for police constables, milk federation posts and contractual teachers came under the scanner.
Who have been arrested?
Former minister Laxmikant Sharma, who held the portfolio of higher and technical education, and his OSD; top MPPEB officials, including the then examination controller and chief system analyst; Congress leader Sanjiv Saxena; MBBS doctors; an IPS officer; brokers; parents; students.
Who else are named in the FIR?
Mining businessman Sudhir Sharma, the CM’s personal assistant Prem Prasad; former OSD to the governor Dhanraj Yadav (he has got anticipatory bail); relatives of IAS and IPS officers.
What have the political consequences been?
The scam did not affect the ruling BJP in the assembly or Lok sabha polls, although the Congress had tried to make an issue out of it.