Sainik School admission test in Karnataka's Belagavi took a controversial turn. Here's why

The school has denied allegations of malpractice and said that there were no separate seating arrangements for children of government officials and neither were question papers leaked
Image for representational purpose only (Pic: Express)
Image for representational purpose only (Pic: Express)

Some parents, on January 9, complained of malpractice in the admission test to Sainik Schools held at a private school in Karnataka's Belagavi, The Hindu reported. They said that the authorities of Jain Heritage School leaked question papers to some select parents and made an exclusive seating arrangement for children of government officials to allow them to cheat.

Basavaraj S, a parent, said that the school allowed malpractice as it gave special treatment to children of government officials by seating them separately and leaking question papers. 

Some parents said that the school authorities allowed Shashidhar Kurer, senior Karnataka Administrative Service officer, inside the school premises after the examination began, despite knowing that his daughter was writing the test.

Vishwanath Patil, another parent, said that Kurer went inside after all other parents were sent out. “We also saw four students coming out of the examination hall, carrying question papers. This is in clear violation of the law,’’ he said. 

When some parents stopped Kurer, who was on his way out of the centre, he evaded questions and denied any wrongdoing. The KAS officer defended his stand saying that he had gone there to check on his daughter who was suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms as her friends had them. 

Denying allegations, Kurer reportedly said, "I was allowed inside the school campus as I am a government officer on duty. I went there only to check if my daughter was alright. As a parent, I was slightly worried about her health as some of her classmates in KLE School had COVID-19-like symptoms a day before. But some parents misunderstood this. When they started making baseless allegations, I took my daughter away from the examination centre as I did not want to create any controversy".  

The altercation led to some confusion in the school. Some parents called journalists while others called the police. Meanwhile, the school authorities called four students back to the school, the parents said. 

Police officers from the Udyambag Police Station, who rushed to the spot, called Block Education Officer Ravi Bhajantri to the venue. Bhajantri said that two aspirants, including Kurer's daughter, were disqualified. He also said that an inquiry will be ordered into the allegations.

Principal Manjit Jain denied the allegations of malpractices. He said that two students were called to his chamber just to test their temperature after someone complained that they had come from KLE School where some students had had COVID-19-like symptoms. When their temperature was found to be normal, they were sent back to the examination hall. No separate seating arrangements were made. Nor was any question paper leaked, he said.

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