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TSPSC cancels Group I, 2 more exams

NAVEENA GHANATE
Hyderabad

The Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) cancelled three more examinations on Friday, including Group-I Prelims, in the wake of the leakage of the question paper of an exam held to recruit Assistant Engineers.

At a special meeting, the Commission took the decision to cancel the Group-I Prelims held on October 16, 2022.

Nearly 2.86 lakh hopefuls of Group-I posts had appeared in the exam across the state and around 25,000 were selected.

The Commission also decided to conduct a re-exam for Group-I Prelims on June 11, 2023.

The examinations held for recruiting Assistant Executive Engineers (AEEs) on January 22 and for selecting Divisional Accounts Officers (DAOs) on February 26 have also been cancelled. The dates for holding the two examinations will be announced later. The TSPSC Secretary said the Commission took the decision to cancel the three examinations after a careful examination of the report submitted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and an internal inquiry by the Commission. The TSPSC had conducted an examination on March 5 to select candidates for 833 posts of Assistant Engineers, Municipal Assistant Engineers, Technical Officers and Junior Technical Officers in engineering departments. Around 55,000 candidates had appeared for the exam. On Wednesday, the TSPSC had cancelled the exam held for recruiting Assistant Engineers, Municipal Assistant Engineers, Technical Officers and Junior Technical Officers in various engineering departments due to a question paper leak.

The Commission suspected that the question paper of the exam had leaked and filed a police complaint. On March 13, the police arrested nine people, including two TSPSC employees.

After the arrests the Commission cancelled the exam and also postponed other exams scheduled to be held later this month. The TSPSC postponed exams for recruiting candidates for the town planning department, groundwater department, veterinary assistants, motor vehicle inspectors and junior lecturers. Another question paper will be prepared and exam dates will be announced later.

The SIT probe revealed that around 15 question papers were in Pulidindi Praveen Kumar’s pen drive from October 2022.

These include the General Studies exam held on October 16, 2022, the AEE Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering papers held on January 22, 2023, DAO General Studies and Maths Paper 1 held on General Studies, Civil Engineering AE, Mechanical Engineering AE, Electrical Engineering Diploma AE, Mechanical Engineering Diploma AE Paper 2 and Civil Engineering Diploma AE Paper 2 which were held on March 5, 2023.

The TPBO Vocational General Studies Paper 1 and TPBO Intermediate Vocational Paper 2 which were scheduled to be held on March 12, 2023, were also found in the pen drive. The question paper of the junior lecturers’ exam scheduled to be held in June-July was also leaked.
Raw copies of the question papers were stored in the pen drive. The IP address of another Commission staffer, Shankar Lakshmi’s, desktop computer was also reportedly mapped on Praveen (A1)’s Dell desktop from October 2022. Shankar Lakshmi says that she did not write the password anywhere.

The phones of Praveen, Rajasekhar and others have been sent to the forensic lab. Venkateswarlu revealed that action will be taken based on the forensic report.

The SIT said that Atla Rajashekar Reddy was the mastermind behind the question paper leak. The SIT report revealed that Rajasekhar came on deputation from TSTS to TSPSC wilfully. He said that he had maintained contact with Praveen while working as a system administrator.

The SIT report said that Rajasekhar copied five question papers using a pen drive and gave the pen drive to Praveen. Praveen sold the AE exam question paper to teacher Renuka.

Rajasekhar copied the paper on February 27. After finding that the Group-1 examination question paper was leaked, the SIT conducted an inquiry into Praveen getting 103 marks which confirmed that he had cheated in the Group-1 exam while acting as PA to the TSPSC Secretary.

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