MADURAI: The postal exam scam in the Tamil Nadu Postal Circle where several Haryanavis fared well, including in the Tamil language paper, has shocked the political class in the state.
Sinking their political differences, the representatives of various political parties have demanded that a re-exam and a detailed probe be held.
Most of the Haryanavis, who had appeared for the December 11, 2016, exam for the recruitment of Postman and Mail Guard in the postal and railway mail service divisions in the circle, had scored over 80 per cent in Tamil as well, apart from subjects like General Knowledge, Maths and English. This raised a suspicion of forgery among the native aspirants, 40 of whom petitioned the district administration on Thursday.
AIADMK rebel MLA R Nataraj, who had earlier served as the chairman of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission, came out with something more revealing. “The possibility of malpractice is high during exam time due to improper invigilation,” he said. He firmly ruled out malpractice during correction of answer papers, where only multiple choice questions are answered in Optical Mark Recognition sheets, undertaken using computer software.
Recalling an incident during his tenure as Chennai Commissioner of Police, the former IPS officer said investigation of an exam scam at a private university by him had exposed that the original candidates’ answer sheets would be replaced by those written by the fake candidates.
“There is also a chance of question paper being leaked in case the ‘cloud’ system (wherein question paper could be seen only an hour before the exam using the pass code) was not followed,” he said, urging for a tight supervision.
P T R P Thiagarajan, the DMK MLA (Madurai Central) and former professor at the State University of New York, demanded that the TN government move the court to stay the results. Demanding re-examination, he suggested filing an RTI application to compare the marks scored by the natives and Haryanavis and counter validation to check the latter’s Tamil skills.
CPM leader K Balabharathi too joined the chorus. “It is impossible for Haryana candidates to score high marks in Tamil. Such kind of scam in the postal exam could not have been done without the knowledge of the officials of the postal department governed by the Central government. The Centre should launch a probe and act against errant officers and should conduct a re-examination for TN students,” Balabharathi said. She expected the court to initiate suo motu proceedings to prevent suspected exam malpractices in future.