Government, varsity act tough on MBBS exam impersonation case

Health Minister Veena George

Kollam/Thiruvananthapuram/Thrissur: Minister for Health Veena George sought a report from the Kerala University of Health Sciences on the alleged impersonation of three MBBS students at the examination, and to initiate stringent action against those found guilty.

The minister’s directive came even as the university ordered to videograph the entire examination process, including the packing of answer sheets that have to be forwarded for evaluation, in a bid to make examinations more secure and fair.

KUHS also set up a committee to recommend reforms needed to avoid the repeat of such incidents. The panel comprises pro vice-chancellor Dr C P Vijayan, Dr S Shankar (Medical College, Kottayam), Dr K Narayana Pai (Dr Padiar Memorial Homoeopathic Medical College, Chottinikkara), and Dr V Rajagopal, former controller of examinations, Calicut University).

College lodges police complaint

Based on a KUHS directive, Azeezia Medical College at Meeyannoor in Kollam, lodged a complaint against three of its students, identified as Nabeel Sajid, Pranav G Mohan and Midhun Jemson, with Kannanalloor police. A first information report, however, was not yet registered.

It has been alleged that an impersonator had written the third-year MBBS Part-1 (Additional) examinations, instead of the three students.

Besides debarring the students from the next five examinations, the university also relieved chief examination superintendent Dr K G Prakash, and invigilators K Sania, S Saritha and Sreevidya of further exam duties.

The additional examination was for students who had failed in the previous attempt.

Previous answer sheets to avoid suspicion

It has now become clear that the college had sent to the university answer papers written by someone else on behalf of the students. A mismatch of barcodes on the registration number slips and answer sheets had sparked suspicion of examination malpractice.

The university has now been using 10-digit barcodes instead of the earlier nine. To avoid creating suspicion among other students, the trio was given the old nine-digit barcoded answer sheets that were in the college’s possession. Someone else used the new answer sheets to write the exams on behalf of the three students.

Authorities said further probe was necessary to know if any financial dealing was involved in the incident.

Action against more people

KUHS vice-chancellor Dr Mohanan Kunnummal said appropriate action would be initiated against all found guilty of the malpractice.

Well-planned move

The government and KUHS have taken the incident seriously, since it had happened bypassing all existing precautionary measures, including the use of mobile signal jammers at the examination centre.

The university emails the question papers just before the commencement of the exam. The examination centre downloads and prints the copies of the question papers corresponding to the number of students taking the exam.

In this backdrop, it has been suspected that a well-planned move had helped in leaking the question paper.

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