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Another question paper ‘leak’ rocks varsity

Questions allegedly circulated in Nashik on WhatsApp before exam

Yet another question-paper ‘leak’ through WhatsApp has rocked Savitribai Phule Pune University, six months after a similar allegation forced a fresh examination.

The examination of Strength of Material (SOM) of the second-year engineering course was held on November 12 and questions allegedly made rounds on WhatsApp before exam commenced.

Pune university has jurisdiction over colleges in Nashik district along with Ahmednagar and Pune districts. According academic sources, a section of students received ‘leaked’ question paper of SOM though WhatsApp. The alleged leak was detected in Nashik.

Certain elements from academic circles in Nashik were keeping an eye on allegedly suspicious developments related to civil engineering examination and managed to get ‘leaked’ question paper of SOM and forwarded it to mediapersons.

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While the examination was scheduled at 10 am, “leaked” question paper was out around 9.35 am, it was alleged. A similar allegation on November 11 turned out to be a “guess-paper” rather than the question paper leak, as only “some questions” matched those asked in the examination.

Pune University was rocked by a question paper leak during MBA examination in May. While university authorities were initially in denial mode, a police investigation revealed that the question paper was indeed leaked, forcing a fresh examination. Prasad Waikar, a student, had blown the lid off the leak.

Speaking with Newsline on Monday, Gajanan Kharate, dean, faculty of Engineering, said an urgent meeting of senior varsity officials was convened. “As of now, we have not received any official complaint. I would request whosoever has authentic information should come forward and share information with us…we will lodge a police complaint,” he said.

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Kharate said a complaint was received about an alleged leak on November 11, too. “The paper of Structural Design-I was scheduled at 2 pm, and I got a complaint that it was available on WhatsApp by noon. I alerted CoE (controller of examinations), and sent him the “question paper” circulating on mobile phones. After verification, we came to know there was no merit in the complaint as questions did not match. We went ahead with the examination,” he said.

SOM is a common subject for civil, mechanical and production engineering disciplines. As far as Nashik is concerned, only around 900 civil engineering students were appearing for the examination on November 12, Kharate said.

University Vice-chancellor Wasudeo Gade said he would not ignore such allegations. “I will reach Nashik tomorrow to monitor the issue. We have not been able to establish any wrongdoing so far as per preliminary details. However, we would go into the depth of interest of thousands of students is involved,” he said.

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Gade said the office of Education Minister Vinod Tawde had contacted university authorities over the question paper leak and sought details.

Online delivery of question papers aimed to thwart leaks on the way
The university had in the middle of last year introduced online dispatch of question papers, rather that send the question sets physically, and it was aimed at preventing likely leakage on the way.

Every affiliated college now receives question papers around an hour before scheduled examination time through e-mail. Designated college authorities, who have special IDs and passwords, take out prints of the question paper. The required number of photocopies are then distributed to students who appear for the examination.

All these downloading activities are expected to be carried out by colleges under the CCTV camera surveillance, having sufficient storage and retrieval capacity. The process of receiving the question papers in colleges involves downloading, decrypting and photocopying, and these processes are expected to be conducted in the presence of the college principal, examination officer and a couple of examination supervisors. (ENS)

First published on: 18-11-2014 at 12:11:42 pm
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