Biometrics in, jewellery out at PGI re-test

A girl struggled with a nose pin, another tried to slip off her toe ring, a boy hastily removed his shoes, while a woman cop ran her hands through the long hair of another girl these were just some of the scenes witnessed at the 10 examination centres across Chandigarh as PGIMER held an entrance test for MD/MS courses on Saturday.

Forced to hold a re-test after the cancellation of the November 10 exam following the discovery of a sophisticated cheating racket, the officials were taking no chances.

Every candidate was checked against the photographs on his/her roll sheets along with another identity proof at the entry point, while inside exam centres, biometrics and photographs were taken of all the candidates.

Girls had been strictly instructed to come without jewellery and with their hair tied so that their ears were exposed. Ten more minutes were provided to students because of the extra security measures.

Mobile jammers were also installed while even staff members on exam duty were barred from bringing a mobile phone. Handkerchiefs and hair clips were also a no-no. A flying squad, comprising senior faculty members of PGIMER, visited the centres during the exam.

The exam had to be cancelled last month after the CBI had busted a cheating gang which used dummy candidates to leak the question paper to other members, using sophisticated gadgets such as button cameras and Bluetooth devices. The questions were transmitted to experts sitting in Hyderabad and Patna, who solved the paper.

Many of the dummy candidates were girls wearing pin hole cameras in their clothes and Bluetooth devices in their ears.

While around 5,240 candidates had appeared for the exam last month, on Saturday, the number of those who took the exam was 5,837, out of the total 7,280 whose applications had been eligible. There are 178 seats available in various departments for MD/MS courses.

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