Minister visits whistleblower who was allegedly manhandled at exam centre

The Department of Higher Education has decided to withhold all the results of the examinations conducted by the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) until further inquiry, following complaints of alleged malpractices in the examination centres.

The Hindu had on Saturday reported on Sandhya Kamal (22), a KSOU student, being physically assaulted near her examination centre at Hosur (St. Joseph’s Institute for Industrial Training) for exposing mass copying on Wednesday.

Speaking to The Hindu, Higher Education Principal Secretary Rajneesh Goel said: “We will initiate an internal inquiry and seek explanation from the heads of all examination centres about the measures that they took to curb malpractices. The entire process may take about a week or so.”

‘Clear violation’

He also said that the “credibility of the institution was at stake” as several examination centres were outside the State. “This a clear violation of the rules framed by the Supreme Court and the State Higher Education department. We have been receiving several complaints of malpractices during KSOU exam.”

Minister for Higher Education R.V. Deshpande, who visited Ms. Kamal on Saturday, is said to have held a meeting later with KSOU Vice-Chancellor M.G. Krishnan to brief him.

He said he had sought a report from the Vice-Chancellor and intended to bring the episode to Chancellor H.R. Bhardwaj’s notice. The Minister warned invigilators of strict action if instances of malpractices are found.

Minister apprised

The Minister, who visited Ms. Kamal’s house along with Mr. Goel Saturday morning, was told how the college authorities allegedly charged “hall expenses” of Rs. 500 for “helping” students use textbooks during the exams.

Speaking after Mr. Deshpande’s visit, Ms. Kamal said: “The Minister said that he would seek an explanation why the centre was outside Karnataka, in Hosur. He has also asked me to file a complaint against KSOU.”

Cancelled

Vice-Chancellor Krishnan cancelled the exam centre’s licence after he was informed of the incident. Meanwhile, police officials at the Hosur police station said investigations were on and cases filed under harassment and restriction of movement.

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