Exam scams in Himachal: Can’t we fix accountability and punish the guilty?


By: Rakesh Kumar Sharma

Educated unemployed youth of Himachal Pradesh is in a great stress by not getting a transparent and fair deal in some examinations conducted for admissions and jobs. On the one hand, scandals like PMT are coming into existence; on the other subordinate selection board’s OMR sheet evaluating machine preferred to selects only even numbered roll numbers in some examinations conducted last year for the posts like supervisor, excise inspector etc.

Premier institutions like Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) and H P Public Service Commission (HPPSC) are also not far behind. They are unable to evaluate the scripts with right answer keys. Two, such cases came into light, only when some individuals approached the High Court in the recent past. In MD/MS/MDS examinations conducted by HPU in March, 2007, a panel appointed by the court found that the answers to the 18 questions in the key were wrong (HPU told to make fresh merit list, The Tribune, March 17, 2007). Similarly, In HAS preliminary examinations conducted in 2007, an expert panel appointed by the court found that the answers to the 27 questions in optional paper of Political Science were wrong in HPPSC’s key (Panel finds 27 answers wrong, The Tribune, January 11, 2008).

When the difference of only one mark in such exams is crucial for the merit, a difference of 27 marks can change the whole merit list. In this scenario, the wrong merit is going to appear in the Mains Examinations, scheduled for February. Though, the petitioners have wasted few months and money in litigation processes, but got relief to appear in the Mains just a few days before the scheduled exam. Hundreds of candidates who did not raise any voice against it are totally left out in view of the wrong evaluation of 27 questions. Even after such big revelations by the court, we find no hue and cry in this sleepy state. Had it happened in our neighbouring states, the guilty would have been brought to book. But in our state, even press and government has gone insensitive to such issues.

Anyone creating doubts about the credentials about these institutions are snubbed by all including parents by terming it as an act of failure frustration. But only a few dynamic people in the society are helping in unearthing these scams. Now this leaves several questions to be answered. Should we keep on waiting for others to come forward and raise their voice for us? Can unorganised educated unemployed youth spare enough time and resources for such protests? Is it the sole responsibility of the court to enquire into the matter? Is it not the responsibility of government to set the system on track and make it more transparent? Should we repeatedly leave the culprit scot-free? Government of the people, press and social organisations must actively participate in finding solutions to these questions in this sleepy state, otherwise we will keep on getting worse results from the system.

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  1. Very true. Most people in Himachal are sleeping and wake up only when water crosses over themselves, damn about others.

    I remember the PMT expose last year. When a few students and their parents raised their voice against it, the VC of HP University who conducts this exam termed it as an act of frustration of the failing candidates. Then the chief minister also supported VC's stand. But luckily, some parents had leadership qualities and organized some affected parents and moved to honourable High Court of H.P. The court then ordered investigations. It was only after the fair inquiry done by some officials who traced the big monetary transactions in question papers. We all know the names of some influential people of the society involved in the scam. But so far we do not know about the punishment in this case. In all the cases mentioned above, no one is accountable for defaults and let free to play with the fate and hard work of youth. It is going to remain the same unless people realize that this is going to happen with their children in future too and stand united to fight against it in any possible manner.

  2. laid back attitude of people in the state is also responsible for such a sorry state of affair.It seems our state public service commission has become hub of corruption.Premier institution like H.P unversity has become ADDA of favouritism.After the findings of expert commitee appointed by hon' ble courtHPAS 07 shouls be quashed straight way and enquiry should be initiated with immediate effect.

  3. People at large had many expectations from the new government to order inquiry in such scams, particularly HAS preliminaries 2007, which now seems vanishing with the time and the appointment of same official in commission, who was at the helm of affairs at the time of this scam.

    When the court of law through a committee of experts found that the answer keys of 27 questions in the political science paper were totally wrong. It ordered to display the all keys on website and gave two exemplary judgments for future to display marks of the candidates and answer keys within ten days of exam. Following this order, 30 petitioners some of whom would have been the toppers, had they been evaluated rightly also approached the CM twice, but in vein. Despite being allowed to appear in the mains, they had even appealed to scrap the exam and punish the people who are playing with the fate of unemployed students.

    Now the situation is like free for all as some candidates having ability to pay, had got the chance to appear in the mains exam through administrative tribunal irrespective of marks and subject. Now it is the mockery of this exam which is being conducted by a top institution for producing people implementing the government policies. An inquiry could have been ordered even for eyewash only. But unfortunately, this is the time when the whole society is celebrating the new government, weak opposition, press and pressure groups including student wings that are not ready to raise the voice for these unemployed youth being cheated repeatedly in every government.

  4. It is said that the government is for the people, of the people and by the people. But this seems untrue now in this case. Elite class of the society has a common understanding to drive the system accordingly. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia had clearly envisaged this many years back.

    In the case of HAS exam scam, many people approached several corridors for annulling this exam and initiate the action against the people involved. But the individual favouritism can blind anyone and ignore the popular voice of people for seeking justice. Hence the people fail to get justice from so called "its own governments" and spend money and valuable time approaching the courts of law, where the delay in imparting justice is also a known fact. It is now learnt that these HAS aspirants has approached the honourable supreme court of India to get this exam annulled. Details are in the today's The Tribune, with the following link:


  5. i hate hppsc interview process no use of qualifying written exam…they favours favouritism…whats use of commission exam…why they conduct 100marks interview …..making fool of hard working students…nobody trust commission…

  6. The careers of students have been given in the hands of those who were handpicked and appointed to these positions illegally like newly appointed given in hppsc without creating posts

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