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No exam in Jamia after 'paper leak'

Bachelor of Dental Surgery entrance test postponed, faculty alleges big scam

Jamia Millia Islamia has postponed its entrance test for Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) amid reports that the question paper was leaked. Over 6,600 students were to take the test for 50 seats in BDS on Sunday.

Some professors said they received the purportedly leaked entrance paper through email a day before the test. But the Jamia administration cited “unavoidable circumstances” as the reason behind the postponement. “The date of the BDS entrance test would be notified in a couple of days which would be conveyed to the examinees through email and SMS,” a statement issued by the university said.

The question paper of BTech entrance examination was also allegedly leaked before the examination began on Saturday morning. More than 35,000 students appeared for the test, according to Jamia officials.

Jamia media coordinator Mukesh Ranjan said the university will lodge a formal complaint with police only after an “internal” inquiry into the alleged leaks. This time, the university had outsourced the work related to entrance test to CMC Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Consultancy Services. Senior faculty members of Jamia claim that the outsourcing could have caused the lapse.

“The university neither invited tenders for outsourcing the work related to entrance exams and admissions nor took permission from the university’s statutory bodies before signing the contract with CMC,” Obaid Siddiqui, a faculty at the Jamia’s Mass Communication and Research Centre, told Deccan Herald.

Claiming chances of academic impropriety in awarding the contract, he said, “Some allege that the son and daughter-in-law of Jamia Vice Chancellor Talat Ahmad are employed in TCS. These allegations should be thoroughly probed by an independent agency at the earliest.”

Ranjan denied the charges against the VC and called it a “smear campaign”. “The allegations are unfounded and baseless,” he said. The Jamia VC couldn’t be reached for his comment. He is in Canada for a Jamia alumni meet.

“It could not be ascertained whether the leaked BDS paper was similar to the one that was supposed to be served to the candidates. The examination was called off before the sealed papers could be opened,” said a faculty at the varsity’s department of dentistry, who didn’t want to be quoted in this newspaper.

The “leaked” paper came from an anonymous source, the faculty member said. Another teacher who is involved with admission process for other programmes run by the university confirmed the leak of BTech and BDS entrance test papers.

The teacher on grounds of anonymity said, “We are a public funded minority institution, but the university chose to hire a software company instead of going for own print. Such a leak has happened for the first time in the past 31 years.” But Deccan Herald couldn’t independently verify their claims.

Outsourcing the exam related work involved a transaction of Rs 3-4 crore, university sources said. The varsity earlier involved department-level admission committees in conducting entrance tests. This year, Jamia was to conduct entrance test for BDS at 12 centres across the country.

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