Ranchi, Sept. 11: Vigilance sleuths are putting under the scanner lakhs of answer copies of the tainted civil services exams conducted by Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) in 2003 and 2007 after a random sample check revealed that marks of normal candidates were slashed to enable the favoured ones to shine.
What was well known so far was that marks of some candidates were doctored. But now, M.V. Rao, IG (vigilance), told The Telegraph that the marks of a number of normal candidates were reduced in later stages to make way for the chosen ones, a startling revelation that showed up in a test check.
This was done simultaneously while enhancing the marks of the favourites to strongly underline the disparity in marks. Following the discovery, a fresh look has been ordered into all the answer copies of the JPSC-organised first and second civil services exams, Rao said.
Investigations into the first and second civil services examinations conducted by JPSC have come up with conclusive evidence of candidates whose marks were increased at a later stage to enable them to clear the exams. In many cases, answer copies were not evaluated at all, but handsome marks were allotted to select candidates in the final mark sheets published by JPSC, Rao added.
For the vigilance bureau, the fresh look into all answer copies is an uphill task.
In JPSC-1, nearly 50,000 candidates had appeared in the preliminary exams. In the preliminary exams, each candidate was required to appear in two papers ó general knowledge and one optional paper ó from a list of optional subjects, which add up to one lakh answer copies. In the final written exams, 9,488 candidates had appeared in seven subjects, making the total number of answer papers 66,416 that the vigilance sleuths will now have to review.
Sixty-four candidates were finally declared successful in JPSC-1. A vigilance FIR lodged on April 27, 2011, declared that at least 32 candidates were favoured as part of a conspiracy by former members of the commission.
In JPSC-2, 46,700 candidates had appeared in the preliminary exams of which 12,300 candidates appeared in the final written exams. Since candidates were required to appear in two subjects in the preliminary exams and five in the final exams, 1,79,500 answer copies now require the vigilance review.
Finally, 177 candidates were declared successful in JPSC-2. The vigilance bureau has indicted 19 candidates found to be favoured by JPSC members.
It is a mammoth task. We have to go through more than 3,45,000 answer copies of the first and second civil services exams conducted by the JPSC. A team has been constituted to go through the answer copies. The review process is on, the IG vigilance said.