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KEA Scandal: After Bluetooth scam, now alleged irregularities in OMR sheets in Hubballi exam

The KEA Bluetooth scandal in Karnataka has raised concerns about the legitimacy of OMR sheets used in exams across the state. In addition to the Bluetooth scam involving 25 arrests in Kalaburagi and Yadgiri, candidates have reported irregularities in other areas. Suspicions arise from discrepancies in hall tickets and OMR sheets, potentially indicating widespread exam irregularities. 

KEA Scandal: After Bluetooth scam, now alleged irregularities in OMR sheets in Hubballi exam vkp
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First Published Nov 2, 2023, 11:15 AM IST

The recent KEA Bluetooth scandal in Karnataka has given rise to fresh concerns about the accuracy of OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) sheets used in various exams. While 25 people were arrested in Kalaburagi and Yadgiri for the Bluetooth scam, questions are now being raised about the legitimacy of OMR sheets used in exams conducted by KEA across the state.

These concerns are not confined to specific areas, as candidates have reported similar problems in places like Hubballi and Belagavi. Supporting these concerns, a candidate's OMR sheet, question paper pattern, and a photo from a Hubballi exam were shared on social media. The fact that the invigilator signed the hall ticket without the original photo has raised suspicion, as it goes against standard exam procedures.

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It's important to note that candidates are generally not allowed to bring mobile phones into the exam centres, and they are admitted only after a thorough screening. However, in this case, the absence of a photo on the hall ticket and a blank OMR copy for the photo has raised doubts.

Typically, an extra hard copy photo is required to be attached to the printed photo on the hall ticket and signed by the invigilator to verify the candidate's identity. Ravi Shankar Malipatil from Dharwad pointed out that, in the shared materials, there's only one photo on the hall ticket, and it's signed by the supervisor, raising suspicions.

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Malipatil had previously sent a letter expressing concerns about possible irregularities involving Bluetooth and OMR sheets in the KEA exam, a week before the exam took place. The shared photos of the OMR sheet suggest that the KEA exam irregularities may extend beyond Kalaburagi and Yadgiri, possibly happening in other parts of the state, including Hubballi. Malipatil has urged authorities to conduct a thorough investigation to uncover the truth.

The core of the issue revolves around the illicit use of Bluetooth devices during competitive exams held on the 28th and 29th to fill government positions, including FDA/SDA roles. In Kalaburagi and Yadgiri, 25 individuals were caught using Bluetooth devices to receive answers during the morning exam on the 28th. Questions have been raised about how these individuals got the questions, as candidates are not allowed to bring mobile phones into the exam centres. The fact that a candidate's OMR sheet, question paper pattern, and hall ticket photo were shared online.

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As per the rules, the original photo should be attached to the printed photo on the hall ticket and signed by the invigilator for verification. However, in the shared materials, only one photo is present on the hall ticket, and it's signed by the supervisor which has raised suspicions about the authenticity of exam processes. 

This scandal has cast doubts on the integrity of KEA exams, which may not be limited to a few districts. Allegations suggest that irregularities could have happened in other parts of the state, prompting a call for a comprehensive investigation. RD Patil, who was previously arrested in connection with PSI exam irregularities, is also linked to the KEA exam scandal. Authorities suspect that he may have fled to Uttar Pradesh after an FIR was registered in connection with the Bluetooth issue at the Afazalpur exam centre. Patil had contested the last assembly election as a Samajwadi Party candidate from Afazalpur constituency.

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