Monday, May 21, 2012

Hi-tech copying in UP exams

Arrest of an impersonator using high-tech electronic equipment for cheating in engineering entrance test of the Aligarh Muslim University is an example of how over the years, Uttar Pradesh has emerged as an hub of rackets supplying impersonators and providing 'innovate copying' service for competitive examinations.

Since 2003 over 40 persons including students, teachers and coaching institutes owners have been arrested on charges of 'seat-fixing'. 

On Sunday, an impersonator, Merajuddin (19), was nabbed at Aligarh Muslim University. He had a high definition micro camera in the wrist watch for scanning the question paper and sending images as MMS through mobile phone strapped on his thighs to one Rashid at a coaching centre at Kapoorthala locality in Lucknow. After solving the multiple choice questions, Rashid was dictating the answer on mobile phone received by the accused on blue tooth receiver. Later, he revealed that he had qualified AMU engineering test in 2009-10. However, in 2010-11, he cleared the All India Engineering Entrance Examination and at present was pursuing BTech from National Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu. He also admitted to have been paid Rs one lakh for impersonation.

A couple of years back two students in medical university here were caught using exclusively tailored outfits with concealed wires running through the shirt to the trousers, connecting ear/microphones stitched within the folds of the cuff, to the mobile phone strapped to the thighs. There were two outlets in the cuff -- one for microphone and other for earphone. The concealed wires ran through the inner lining on the shirt to the lower end, from where a pin came out which was attached to a socket stitched within the folds of the waist-line of the trousers. The concealed wire then ran through the trousers with an opening near the thighs where the mobile phone was strapped. The two boys were taking dictation through mobile phone from their 'friends' outside the campus.

In a bid to check impersonations, authorities in the state have introduced the provision of taking thumb impression of students in the application form which is later matched at the examination centre during the test and later when students come for counselling for allotment of seat and finally when they take admission in a college. This is to ensure that the applicant which has applied is the same who took exams, appeared in the counselling and took admission. However, `munna bhais' in UP have found have way to beat the check. A few years back, in UP Post Graduate Medical Entrance Test, two students were caught with microfilms on their thumbs. The same microfilm was used by their impersonators for to give thumb impressions while appearing for the entrance examination.

The authorities also introduced a to hold internal examinations of medical and engineering colleges on the day of common entrance test to stop students from being engaged as impersonators. However, racketeers brought `munna bhais' from other states to UP. In May 2008, two rackets were busted in Lucknow and Aligarh respectively. Several students were arrested for impersonation. They were brought from had come to impersonate for candidates appearing in the UP Pre Medical Test from Rajasthan. Students from UP are also sent to other states for impersonation. Three impersonators from UP were caught in in Delhi in 2006, in west Bengal in 2007 and in Punjab in 2009. Sources also said that impersonators from UP are also in demand in states like Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Police investigations have also revealed that seat fixing rackets recruits candidates from coaching institutes and colleges by offering big money. Those who deny are coerced and threatened. Preference is given to those whose faces resemble with the `client'. Photographs on admit cards are also morphed. Recruits are then sent to impersonate in medical entrance tests. The money charged is between Rs 5-15 lakh depending on the requirement and success rate. While ring leader keeps 50%, remaining amount is distributed among others. Impersonator gets around 10% of the share. But in the absence of a strict law, racketeers get bail and resume their activities. Conviction rate is also low, hence all the efforts have not been able to put an effective check on the menace.

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