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The Maharashtra Public Service Commission's (MPSC) newly introduced online application system (OAS) for entrance examination is being misused for mass copying.
Candidates, who recently appeared for the MPSC examinations, told DNA that groups of friends were applying in batches of 10 and 20 in order to secure back-to-back roll numbers to facilitate copying during the examinations. This was evident in the recent MPSC entrance test for the post of police sub-inspectors held in Pune on August 28. Three aspirants have alleged that several candidates who had managed to get back-to-back roll numbers were blatantly copying from one another. Said former IAS officer Avinash Dharmadhikari, who is the director of Chanakya Mandal, a coaching centre for MPSC aspirants, "I am aware of these incidents. I have alerted the MPSC central office. The MPSC needs to build a software to curb these activities." The MPSC entrance test comprises four sets of objective papers to be solved in two hours. The three candidates, who witnessed large scale copying in Pune, said that students who enjoyed an expertise in a particular subject solved only that set and then shared their answer sheet with the rest of the group. Some MPSC aspirants said that the OAS is a very user-friendly system, where it is possible for the candidates to secure successive roll numbers and even choose the same examination centre. Said an aspirant who appeared for the exam from the Abasaheb Garware College centre at Deccan Gymkhana, "On August 28, I was shocked to see candidates who knew each other circulating their answer sheets openly with their friends. One lone police constable was acting as an invigilator. Often, he was not inside the class, thus encouraging the mass copying." Depressed by this, the aspirant attempted questions for 110 marks out of the total 200 marks in the entrance test and walked out. "I felt like committing suicide. I tried calling the Maharashtra Lokseva Ayoga about the matter, but my calls went unanswered," he said. Umakant Waghmare, a trainer for MPSC aspirants in Kolhapur, said that the malpractice had prompted the MPSC authorities to make relevant changes, where successive roll numbers did not ensure seats in the same examination hall. Waghmare pointed out a recent prelim examination for the post of police sub inspector (PSI) 2011 held on June 26, which saw a random seating arrangement in place. "This random seating arrangement has proved effective in controlling mass copying," Waghmare said. However, these results were not reflected on the ground in Pune.
Courtesy: DNA India
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