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KEA exam scam across Karnataka: Minister Priyank Kharge announces investigation

The Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) faces widespread irregularities in written tests across the state, according to RDPR Affairs Minister Priyank Kharge. Bluetooth usage and exam scams are reported in various regions, triggering a comprehensive inquiry. The main accused, RD Patil, is under strict measures, with a forensic examination of a related mobile device. Kharge challenges BJP allegations and emphasizes the government's commitment to youth and efforts to prevent irregularities in recruitment through new legislation.

KEA exam scam across Karnataka: Minister Priyank Kharge announces investigation vkp
First Published Nov 9, 2023, 11:05 AM IST

In a recent press briefing in Kalaburagi, RDPR Affairs Minister Priyank Kharge disclosed that irregularities in the written tests conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) for various state corporations and boards were not confined to specific regions but had spread across the entire state.

Kharge mentioned that precautionary measures have been implemented by the government, but there have been instances of Bluetooth usage in some locations. He clarified that incidents were reported not only in Kalaburagi but also in Yadgiri, Vijayapura, Hubli, and Bangalore. The minister assured the public that investigations are underway to examine the discrepancies thoroughly.

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Acknowledging the seriousness of the situation, Kharge asserted that the government would take further action based on the preliminary investigation's report. He pointed out that OMR was not conducted in their district, indicating a possible mobile usage issue. The irregularities seem to have occurred in different parts of the state, prompting a comprehensive inquiry. Kharge stated that once the investigation is complete, the Home Minister would decide whether to involve COD or CBI in the case.

Regarding the arrest of RD Patil, the main accused in the KEA exam scam, Kharge stated that strict measures have been taken to apprehend him. A mobile device related to the case has been sent to the forensic agency for examination, and the investigation is ongoing.

He emphasized that not all information can be disclosed at this stage of the investigation. He assured the public that the government is committed to a thorough and sincere effort to address the issue. If any involvement is found, strict action will be taken against those responsible.

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Responding to allegations from BJP leaders claiming that RD Patil has the protection of Priyank Kharge, the minister retorted by questioning BJP's actions in similar situations. He challenged them to provide records if there are doubts about the involvement of his MLAs. Kharge urged the BJP to introspect and conduct a thorough examination before making such allegations.

Kharge highlighted the government's commitment to the future of the youth and mentioned the ongoing efforts to prevent irregularities in government recruitment. He disclosed that a Prevention of Karapakshan in Government Recruitment Bill is in the works, having been discussed with the Chief Minister and sent to the DPR for approval.

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Despite the embarrassment caused by the exam irregularities, Kharge noted that precautionary measures were taken before the exams, including inspections of lodges near examination centres, restrictions on parking within 200 feet, and the installation of detectors. He mentioned that strict measures led to a 50% absence rate among candidates.

Responding to questions about the police's handling of the situation, Kharge denied any differences of opinion and asserted that improvements have been made since the government took office. He attributed any delays to the need for time to implement necessary measures.

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