The sensational Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) examination scam has raised questions about the involvement of insiders and the delay in detecting the fraud. TNPSC Secretary K. Nanthakumar in an interview says the scam went unnoticed as the answer script bundles were resealed. Excerpts:
It appears the TNPSC Group IV exam scam would have remained under wraps had it not been exposed on social media..
TNPSC has several departments, each involved in a specific task. The idea is to keep one department in the dark about what the other department is up to and it is intentional. So, other departments did not check on the exam conducting department.
There were complaints about malpractice in Group II exam also but the TNPSC acknowledged it much later. Why?
Unlike the evidences we got in Group-IV, we did not get material evidence in Group-II initially. Also, since we were involved in probing the Group-IV exam, we could not hold parallel probe into Group-II exams. Once we handed over the case to the CB-CID, we went after the Group-II exam.
Did the TNPSC not learn its lessons from the leakage of its Group I paper in 2015?
No. In 2015, the answer sheets went to persons who did not appear in examinations at all. But, in Group-IV exams the sheets went only to the candidates. So, there is a difference. You cannot compare the two cases.
Has the TNPSC taken any action against its officials?
The record clerk Omkanthan and a typist have been arrested by the CB-CID and suspended. Since they re-sealed the bundles after the malpractice, the TNPSC could not detect that the answer sheets were doctored.
How did you zero in on the 99 candidates, who used evaporating ink? Was a ultra-blue test done to find out if invisible ink was used?
We checked the answer sheets of about 25,000 candidates who were selected for the second stage. Through the test, we zeroed in on these 99 candidates. We did the ultra-blue test on the answer sheets ourselves and no other agency was involved.
Also, there is an issue in the quota for Persons Studied in Tamil Medium (PSTM) on who should be the beneficiaries of this quota…
Yes, the law says the candidate should have studied in Tamil medium in qualifying exams. But, we see many candidates are doing some correspondence course only to get into this quota. So, we have requested the government to amend the law to make it in such a way that candidates should have studied in Tamil medium in Class 10 and Class 12 and also in graduation. The amendment may be made any time.