While one runs the scam, another gets the smack.
Elementary school failures fill the nomination forms, as secret of politics they have cracked. Leaked papers are cancelling the exams nationwide, and this has every aspirant frustrated inside.
And if any student protests, be ready to face the action! We were caught up and manipulated by fear for too long – now what else is there to do except sit back and watch?
At the foremost, JNU and Jamia Milia Islamia students were smacked – everyone believed there must be a reason behind it. But, it is clear that paper leaks and cancelled exams have become a common affair across the country. When students try to raise a voice – they receive a blow. Who is there to listen to student woes? Where is the youth leader or media?
Jammu & Kashmir – The youth there was about to make a transition from stone pelting to penmanship. JKSSB – Jammu Kashmir Service Selection Board – is scheduled to conduct online exams from 16 March to 5 April. A blacklisted company, Aptech, is involved in conducting the exam. Students protested and demanded ban on Aptech because of rigging, mismanagement – raising questions on credibility of JKSSB.
About the Aptech company history – This company faces allegations of malpractices in the Rajasthan Police Constable recruitment process, recruitment to the Irrigation Department of Assam etc. The High Court of Delhi imposed a fine of Rs10,00,000 on Aptech Limited for “resorting to or permitting malpractices at institutional level”.
In fact, in Jan 2023, three ‘solvers’ were arrested at the central teacher eligibility test in Lucknow. A bigger inside job surfaced in 2016 when SEBI acted against the late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, a shareholder of Aptech. A fine of 1 crore was imposed on Aptech for violating insider trading norms.
Why does a company with such history of malpractices, blacklisted as a result in several states, holding important Govt. JKSSB exam? Is JKSSB incapable of conducting exams? Why are those students questioning Aptech’s involvement getting smacked?
Action on protesting students won’t solve the problem of paper leaks which endangers future of lakhs of students throughout the country. This the problem of many states – especially for Gujarat, where paper leak is at its peak. In 2018, for example, 9 lakh aspirants sat for Gujarat police constable recruitment exam – but it was then cancelled.
As paper was leaked – four were arrested, of which 2 were BJP workers. In 2019, Gujarat subordinate service selection board released nearly 4000 vacancies – 6 lakh candidates appeared for exam. Because of paper leak and irregularities – nearly a thousand students protested in Gandhinagar – 700 students were detained by police. This is one of the many paper leak incidents – it would at least be an article of 10 pages if I go through every case minutely.
Examples come from across the country – Gujarat was named first, as one cannot blame Nehru for the chaos in Gujarat, since BJP has been in power for the last 27 years in the state. The opposition was practically non-existent, and yet this state of exams. BJP is also about to complete a decade at the Centre – the paper leaks still don’t stop. 12 major paper leaks in a decade in Gujarat as per a report by India Today – Gujarat Public Service Commission (2013), Talati exam (2015) (2016), Mukhya Sevika entrance paper (2018), TET- Teacher’s recruitment (2018), Nayaab Chitnis paper (2018), Lok Rakshak Dal entrance exam (2018), Non-Secretariat Clerk paper (2019), Head Clerk paper (2019), DGYCL Vidyut Sahayak paper (2021), Sub-auditor paper (2021), Forest Guard entrance exam (2021), Junior Clerk entrance exam (2021) and many more.
This clearly is toying with the future of youth. Now, Gujarat has passed a bill to check paper leak in the recruitment exams. But, can paper leaks be stopped by the bill? Will a new law solve the problem? By that logic, Gujarat is supposed to be a dry state, but is it?
Congress is no less than BJP in terms of paper leaks. In Rajasthan – where Congress comes to power every other 5 years – recorded 26 paper leaks in 10 years, of which 14 was under the current rule of Ashok Gehlot. In the 2022 REET exam, 16 lakh candidates appeared for 30,000 vacancies. Gehlot government banned internet access to stop cheating. But all in vain as paper was leaked, and exam was cancelled.
Can these leaks happen without political influence and protection? It is required that the entire examination system be changed.
Can paper leaks and cheating be stopped? Theoretically, yes.
Firstly, we must admit the significant problem that it is – the scams are impacting the career and future of youth. Last year in UP Lekhpal exam – candidates were caught cheating with Bluetooth devices. In 2019, Lucknow police initiated lathi charge on people peacefully protesting against alleged irregularities in the year’s upper primary assistant teacher recruitment exam.
In West Bengal, police detained TET qualified students as they were demanding direct recruitment – Mamata Banerjee govt. was allegedly giving priority to undeserving candidates – irregularity after the result was declared.
Many protests are not covered in the media – like unemployed youths from across Madhya Pradesh marched to the capital Bhopal – it was called recruitment satyagraha march. Youth wanted govt. to fill vacant posts immediately. It is surprising that satyagraha is used to remind govt. of its basic duty. This satyagraha was also met by police action.
Haryana is not behind in paper leaks – HSSC Gram Sachiv exam, SSC ITI Instructor exam were cancelled due to paper leak. In 25 Dec, Himachal Pradesh was to conduct junior office assistant recruitment exam – but SSC employee leaked the paper for 1.5-2 lakhs, and it was cancelled.
Recently, on 17 Feb, APPSC paper was leaked and protests turned violent in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh – internet was also suspended. Paper leak scam may not be stopped, but a protest should always be as it is a dent on governance.
Moreover, what about the students protesting fee hikes in the universities? Although, JNU administration has found a unique way of putting an end to protests – the students found protesting would be fined 20k to 50k. However, JNU soon took a U-turn on the notice.
The idea, though, isn’t bad – squeeze money out of students – this may help in 5 trillion goal! This is a joke – but this is one of the ways of silencing students – fines will squeeze the voice and energy out of youth. Poor student somehow manages to crack the entrance for the top university – and then, cannot talk about their issues, or else fine. (sigh)
JNU protested – we watched. Jamia Milia Islamia protested – we watched. Himachal Pradesh law students protested – we watched. On January 2022, police entered a Prayagraj hostel and beat students. But, why did police do that? The students had earlier protested over irregularity in RRB NTPC exam result – arson was reported in some places. That is why police smacked the students anywhere.
In a comedy of errors, 28-year-old NTPC aspirant Dharmendra Kumar told The Quint, admitting he felt students in Jamia were deserving smacking by police in 2019 for opposing the system. And then he added that now, his thoughts on that have changed a lot, given his own experiences in it, that whoever speaks up against the government are labelled as villains. Does this wisdom only come after smacking on the bottom?
The reality now is, Dharmendra or Dilshad – whoever raises eye to the system will face action – there is no difference here. Talk about irregularities in exam, paper leaks, fee hikes – you will find this government a secular one, there will be no difference in the beatings received.
So many protests by students are not even highlighted – they are beaten up, detained – people think they are a nuisance, blocking the road and probably funded by opposition. News channels don’t cover the protests unless a clip goes viral targeting the system – followed discrediting thereafter.
- Agniveer Scheme Protest
- RRB NTPC Protesr
- JNU fee hike
- Allahabad University fee hike
- HP Law University fee hike
- Gandhinagar paper leak
- JKSSB protest against Aptech
Public does not care – don’t even want to see such news. Unless it is you – everything is good, after all this is a time to avenge, laugh at Pakistan, worship supreme leader – why waste time on small protests.
Interestingly, today’s top leaders emerged from student protests of the past – Arun Jaitley, Ravishakar Prasad or Narendra Modi – politically aware students were considered good at a time. But, today, is there a student leader in any state who is able to voice demands of youth – at least in their state if not the whole country? Student politics and leadership have been dealt with and erased – a vacuum is created as a result, helping the system.
Think about it – Is the govt. frightened by student unity as it can shake the foundations of system?
May be not anymore. Agreed that students may be politically unaware and not united today – but at least, the Govt. can revamp the examination system to prevent leaks and cheating, and not involve the blacklisted companies to the least. Don’t know when our students will voice themselves together or when these scams will stop.
[Images from different sources]
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