Ahmedabad/New Delhi, Nov. 25: The CBI today gave a clean chit to the Indian institutes of management, saying the leak of the question paper for the common admission test (CAT) did not occur at their end.
“After evaluating the pre-printing and post-printing distribution processes followed in CAT, the CBI has found that the system is foolproof and they have also communicated it to us,” said Bakul Dholakia, the director of IIM Ahmedabad.
CBI director P.C. Sharma announced as much in Delhi, hinting that investigators might have found evidence to suggest the leak took place at the press — the Institute of Banking Personnel Services — which printed the papers. “Something wrong must have happened in the printing press which we are scrutinising,” Sharma said.
The CBI bill of health vindicates the IIMs’ claim that the examination system is “time-tested and foolproof”. Over 1.27 lakh students took the test on Sunday only to learn later that it had been cancelled.
“We have received a communication from the (human resource development) ministry today that it has set up a committee to probe the CAT question paper leak,” Dholakia said.
The ministry cancelled the test after the CBI claimed to have confiscated papers from a Delhi hotel on Saturday night, barely 12 hours before the examination. The CBI has made several arrests in connection with the alleged leak of the papers for the country’s biggest management entrance examination that is being conducted for 27 years.
“We couldn’t believe it and just after the news, we started probing our processes. We have found out that not a single question paper was missing from the 147 centres where the examination was held,” Dholakia said.
The serial numbers of question papers and answerscripts were tallied, and the process of distribution by all the six IIMs was reviewed over two days as part of an internal inquiry.
Today, the CBI handed over some pages it had confiscated to the IIM authorities. “The sheets we got today were photocopies. The front page of the question paper, which bears a unique serial number, was missing. Even the CBI doesn’t have it in its possession,” Dholakia added.
His statement suggested the IIMs had not accepted that the alleged leak had been established.
“The decision of a re-test has been taken to restore the credibility of CAT. Very few in the IIM fraternity subscribe to the CBI’s claim and support the ministry’s unilateral decision to cancel the examination,” said an IIM Ahmedabad faculty member.
The six-member CAT group — responsible for the examination — was huddled in a meeting from 10 in the morning till late evening. “From reviewing the CAT process to working out the logistics of a re-test as soon as possible, we are discussing a number of issues. As of now, we have decided to hold the re-test in February, but the exact date will only be announced after the meeting of the six IIM directors tomorrow,” said a spokesperson.