Exams at Hombegowda College centre cancelled after Minister leads raid

In a brazen act of mass copying, students of the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) took open book exams to a whole new level.

Appearing for second semester exams of MBA, M. Tech., B.Tech. and M.Sc. at the Hombegowda College examination centre in Wilson Garden in Bangalore, they were caught mass copying, using textbooks and gadgets like mobile phones and laptops.

Higher Education Minister C.T. Ravi, who carried out a surprise inspection of the centre Thursday following a tipoff by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists, came across a shocking scenario of mass copying under the benign eye of “collaborating invigilators”.

Direction

Mr. Ravi directed KSOU Vice-Chancellor K.S. Rangappa to recast exams, knock off Hombegowda College from the list of exam centres and to initiate criminal cases against the custodians and the examination centre authorities. The Minister said he would direct universities to appoint special squads to monitor the examination process.

Undercover

Prem, an ABVP leader, said a member of the organisation went undercover at Hombegowda College posing as a student writing the exam on Wednesday.

“She was not even asked for her identity card. The invigilator simply asked which paper she was writing and handed over the question paper without even bothering to know whether she had a register number or not. She captured the mass copying with a hidden camera,” he said.

On Thursday, ABVP invited the Minister to the exam centre. Led by Mr. Ravi, the team raided the hall where students were caught red-handed copying.

“In fact, the invigilators were giving newly bought textbooks to the candidates,” Mr. Prem said.

‘The only one’

Reacting to the incident, Mr. Rangappa told The Hindu this was the only such incident reported from the 123 KSOU exam centres in the State. “All the exams conducted at this centre will be scrapped and new ones conducted. CCTVs will be installed at the centres,” he added.

To a question, he said action would be taken against the invigilators.