Maharashtra Government To Probe Recruitment ScamOctober 28, 2020
Mumbai: Days after The Wire published an investigative report detailing the discrepancies and instances of fraud in the Maharashtra government’s recruitment drive during the tenure of Devendra Fadnavis, the present Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has indicated that it would conduct a probe into the allegations.
While the state revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat has said that the government would soon conduct a preliminary probe into the allegations, Nationalist Congress Party legislator Rohit Pawar has demanded that the government should dig deeper and instead set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter.
The Wire, on October 25, had published an investigative report about a well-oiled scam in the recruitment process for Class ‘C’ and Class ‘D’ posts in various departments in 2019. The Wire spoke to several candidates in the process of investigating allegations of rampant exam fraud. The exams were conducted by the MahaPariksha Portal, which is handled by the Maharashtra Information Technology Corporation Limited or ‘MahaIT’ and is oversees the recruitment for several state government posts.
In May, this year, Ahmednagar district collector Rahul Dwivedi had written a damning 12-page report exposing the discrepancies in exams conducted in his district. In Ahmednagar district, at least 14 shortlisted candidates were found to be dubious.
Not just in one district
When The Wire dug deeper, the investigation revealed that the fraud was not restricted to Ahmednagar alone but was a widespread scam, plaguing all 34 districts where these state recruitment exams were conducted. From propping up dummy candidates to a mismatch in photographs and signatures, to candidates using spy cameras and microphones while entering the exam hall, The Wire’s probe found myriad methods of fraud.
Two companies – UST Global and Arceus Infotech Private Limited – have come under the radar now, along with Kaustubh Dhavse, MahaIT’s former nominee director. Dhavse, a close confidante of Fadnavis, was also his Officer on Special Duty (OSD) and had resigned from his post as a director of MahaIT in December last year, soon after the BJP government in the state fell.
Evidence uncovered during the investigation indicates that the magnitude and the extent of this scam could be similar to that seen at the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, more commonly known as the Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal or Vyapam scam.
Responding to the story, Pawar said that the issue is not just a financial concern but also an emotional one. “It actually pertains to the future of 35 lakh people in Maharashtra. The earlier government has caused a serious dent to the aspirations of lakhs of youngsters of Maharashtra,” Pawar told The Wire. In the past year, Pawar has consistently raised the issue, both in the Vidhan Sabha and on his social…