Plea to quiz Kerala firm on question paper leak
Assam Congress legislature party leader Debabrata Saikia has requested Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to seek an “explanation” from the Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (Keltron) authorities after it has “become embroiled” in a question paper leak scandal in the northeastern state.
More than 10 people have been arrested in connection with the case since Wednesday.
Saikia, who is also leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, made the request in a letter to Vijayan on Thursday drawing his attention to the case which is being probed by the Assam police till now.
Founded in 1973, Keltron is a public sector enterprise owned by the Kerala government and is managed by a board of directors. Its website says it is “India’s first and the largest” state electronics enterprise, producing a “wide range of products from discrete electronics components to complex equipment and system”.
In his letter, Saikia said the Assam government had chosen Keltron to conduct the statewide written examination for the posts of 597 police sub-inspectors.
However, the question paper got leaked on social media a day prior to the examination on September 20. As a result, the fate of around 66,000 applicants has become shrouded in uncertainty.
“According to preliminary reports, the leak occurred because Keltron awarded sub-contracts to two local firms, namely Amain Tech Consultants Private Limited and M/s Akshay Tele Communications, which have dubious bonafides.
“While the first firm has already been involved in at least two question paper leak scandals involving other departments of the Government of Assam in recent times, the other firm is reported to be operating as a call centre and has no experience of conducting an important examination of this sort.
“As such, there is ample scope to believe that Keltron ‘blindly awarded’ the sub-contracts at the behest of at the behest of BJP leaders of Assam,” the letter said.
Saikia requested Vijayan to call for an explanation from the Keltron brass because there was a “serious lapse” on its part for “failing to properly ascertain the track record of the sub-contractors” and such a case has grave ramifications.
“Further, the authorities of Keltron may be instructed to exercise extreme caution while conducting similar examinations in Assam in future, because leakage of question papers of recruitment-related examinations has become the norm in Assam under the present BJP-led state government,” the letter said.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has directed the police to conduct a thorough probe and spare nobody found to be involved in the case.