Paper Leaks - A National Scandal?


Paper Leaks - A National Scandal?

Student bodies like ABVP and NSUI were estabished for a reason... this is the time when they need to come into action and not just play on the directions of their parent party's political agenda...It needs a country level agitation...or revolution!
 
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Paper leaks at all levels affect the efforts of millions & future of thousands of students and job seekers

While writing this post, I was wondering whether I should categorize this post as Crime or Politics. I finally decided to put it under Crime, because as far as the nexus on paper leaks is concerned, categorizing this post under Politics would have made no real difference. The formation of central committe led by former ISRO Chief to look into fair examinations is enough proof that the institutions and government have realised that there have been paper leaks and the NTA or other examination conducting bodies need to strengthen their moral quotient.

Everytime there is an election, be it Assembly or General Elections, the political parties make a hue and cry over Paper Leaks. In November 2023, when Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh were going to polls, the BJP made paper leaks one of their election agenda and criticised the Congress government in Rajasthan over its inability to control paper leak. However, after the elections got over and BJP came into power, the chapter was closed. A SIT was formed and the government refused to hand over the task to CBI.

With the recent NEET and NET examination paper leak news being confirmed and doing the rounds on media, the government at the Centre fails to identify it as a national scandal. A scandal far worse than the Stock Market or those by the fugitive businessmen who had fled the country with thousands of crores of public money. This scandal is jeopardising the future of millions of students. One can just imagine the fate of lakhs of students who have already been hurt by such paper leaks in the past. One can also imagine being taught by teachers, law and order managed by Police personnel and health care being handed over to Doctors who have taken advantage of paper leaks and secured admissions or jobs in the past based on fake / fraudulently achieved degrees. The powers that be and the state institutions may also check on the fate of students in the medical colleges who have not managed to clear the degree for want of being unable to pass medical college course because they must have secured admissions through paper leaks. Thousands of Police constables, primary and secondary school government school teachers have managed to get their jobs based on fraudulently passed entrance/recruitment examinations, because their appointment depends soleley on passing the exam. There is not much that they have to do in proving their calibre.

Count

In Rajasthan there were nearly twenty (reported) paper leaks between 2021-23. Examination regulators and state institutions have failed in controlling the issue of paper leaks. Which party holds the reigns to governance in the centre or state hardly matters. What matters now is that in the last decade of BJP rule in the country, the instances of paper leaks have increased exponentially. Paper leaks are not new to the prized states of India, be it Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra, Haryana, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana or Gujarat. These states, over the last seven years, have smoked out 70 paper leaks. The North Eastern States, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir have not "reported" any paper leaks. Now, we can also see that each state has/had different ruling parties across the last 10 years. The 70 paper leaks would have affected nearly 2 crore students and their familieis.

Officials, Institutions, Schools and Coaching Centres

With coaching centres cropping up like weed across India, the access to printing press, officials of state institutions, printing press personnel, with the lure of money, is not at all a difficult task. The Telgi Stamp Paper scam was minor when compared to this competitive examination paper leak scandal. Land for Jobs, involvement of government officials, school teachers, coaching centres have been rounded up in many of these paper leak cases. How far the prosecution proceeds and how bail is addressed or what the Courts rule is a different matter. Paper leaks have not only raised its ugly head when i comes to competitive examinations or recruitment examinations. Even school Board exams have been a target of paper leaks. This business, like that of smuggling is ruining the lives of children and young job seekers. Crime is a resulting outcome. The education mafia, paper leak mafia, politicans are in cahoots - it is a no brainer. 

Law

The Parliament did pass a law defining punishment for those found guilty of paper leaks. A "maximum" jail term of 10 years and a fine of up Rs 1 Cr were not really a big deterrant to the mafia involved in this racket, because the stakes in terms of successful operation was in large multiples of the "measly" fine. Moreover, this law is for post event - once the paper leak has happened, which the culprits captured after investigation, court room drama, and final conviction and penalty or imprisonment often taking as long as a few years. Till then, the efforts of many students have been wasted, those deserving jobs have lost their chances, those willing to appear in the re-examinations are kept waiting for years. The story goes on - as long as the media is covering it. Once it gets a better story, the paper leak enthusiasm has leaked. The misery lies permanently with those directly affected and the prize lies for good with those who have committed the crime.

Committee

The Government has done what it does best - set up a committee. This 7 member high level committee, led by former ISRO Chief Dr K Radhakrishnan will "draw up measures" to "ensure" transparent conduct and data security at NTA and fair NEET examinations conduct. There are hundreds of such examinations every years - School Board Examinations, UPSC Examinations, NTA Examinations, Recruitment Examinations at various government posts at Central or State Level, Police Recruitment examinations, and the list goes on. Who will ensure their "transparent conduct" or "draw up measures" to ensure date integrity and security?

EACH LEADER OF EVERY POLTICIAL PARTY SHOUTS AT THE TOP OF HIS / HER VOICE ON PROTECTING THE INTEREST OF STUDENTS, ENSURING LEVEL PLAY GROUND, TRANSPARENCY, ETC. HOWEVER THIS ELECTION CAMPAIGN BUGLE ENDS AFTER THE VOTE IS CAST...WILL STUDENT BODIES HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY OR WILL THEY CONTINUE TO PLAY ON THE DIRECTIONS OF THEIR PARENT PARTIES.... ABVP / NSUI ARE YOU LISTENING?

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