Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Monday ordered the suspension and arrest of two professors in connection with the alleged irregularities in the state teacher eligibility test.
The action came amid allegations that several answers in one of the papers for the state teacher eligibility test were marked in bold. Many candidates who appeared for the Punjab State Teacher Eligibility Test (PSTET), which was conducted Sunday, had claimed that several answers to multiple choice questions of the social studies paper were highlighted in bold.
In the wake of the allegations, Congress and BJP blamed the AAP for the alleged lapse and sought from it a high-level probe into the matter. The PSTET is a qualifying test to become a teacher for primary and upper primary classes. More than one lakh candidates had appeared for the test which was conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU).
Hardeep Singh, a professor in the department of computer science, and Ravinder Singh Sawhney, a professor in the department of electronics technology, in GNDU were suspended with immediate effect, said an official statement here. Mann has also directed the Police to immediately arrest the ”perpetrators” of the PSTET exam irregularities.
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This is a heinous crime which is unwarranted and undesirable due to which he directed police to take stringent action against the culprits, read the statement. Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh slammed the AAP government for the lapse and accused it of playing with the future of youth, as he demanded an action against the people responsible for it.
Punjab BJP general secretary Subhash Sharma also hit out at the AAP government and demanded a CBI probe into the matter. Earlier in the day, Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains said accountability will be fixed in the matter.
”To maintain complete fairness in our examination process, a PS level probe has been ordered to look in to PSTET exam conducted by a third Party with A++ NAAC grade i.e. GNDU,” Bains said in a tweet.
”Further, GNDU has regretted & will re-conduct the exam without any fees. In future, have ordered my department to have a suitable clause for compensation in the MOU’s signed with third parties for compensation of the candidates in such a scenario. Why should candidates suffer,” he said in another tweet.
Leader of the Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa said the manner in which the eligibility test for the appointment of teachers was conducted spoke volumes about the ”complete collapse” of administration under the AAP government.
”Now if it has happened inadvertently it is gross negligence and deliberate attempt to help certain candidates. However, if it was done knowingly with the help of the paper setters associated with the education department it is a criminal act and has spoiled the future of thousands of candidates who were working hard for the test,” Bajwa said.