| Common Admission Test candidates leaving St Xavier’s College after the exam on Sunday afternoon. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta
Dummy candidates have cast a shadow on the most fiercely-fought entrance test in the country.
Two Common Admission Test (CAT) candidates were arrested in Chandigarh by a police team from the city following a complaint by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta.
The engineering students, identified as Gaurav Midha and Narendra Singh, were held at the DAV College examination centre for furnishing false information in their CAT application forms. The police are investigating if the duo are part of a racket.
“We noticed discrepancies in some of the applications and alerted Thakurpukur police station around one-and-a-half-months ago,” said Asish Bhattacharyya, the chairman (admissions) at IIM Calcutta. “We want the examination system to be completely transparent,” he added.
The applications in which discrepancies were found were from Chandigarh, one of the cities where the test is held under the jurisdiction of IIM Calcutta. Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Jamshedpur, Guwahati and Patna are some of the other cities where the test is held under the purview of the Joka institute.
“The two arrested candidates are from Mohali and Sonepat in Punjab. A team left for Chandigarh four days ago,” said Praveen Kumar, the superintendent of police, South 24-Parganas.
An officer of the team said: “We found out from the IIM authorities their examination centre. Midha and Singh were taken into custody after they had written the test.”
Both were produced in a Chandigarh court. The judge issued transit remand. Midha and Singh will be produced at Alipore court on Monday.
Kumar said the arrests would help track down others involved in the malpractice: “Our first task is to find out the names of those who had paid Midha and Singh to take the test. The duo will also lead us to other dummy candidates.”
Earlier in the year, a racket to field fake candidates at the state joint entrance examination (JEE) was busted. Officers of the detective department had arrested 21 people, including JEE applicants and dummy candidates.
The subsequent probe revealed that the dummy candidates took advantage of the multiple-choice question paper format.
In an effort to prevent dummy candidates from appearing next year, the joint entrance board has decided to change the question pattern. Candidates will have to answer short answer type questions from 2008.
“It is important that stern steps are taken and the system is cleaned up. Corrupt practices must not be allowed to creep into such an important examination,” said a student appearing for CAT on Sunday.