Chandigarh: Man booked for arranging proxy candidates in exam

The FIR was registered on the complaint of one of the representatives of Pearson VUE, Shantanu Kumar. Police said Perason VUE is authorised to conduct the PTE-A for half a dozen foreign countries, including New Zealand and Austria.

A local test centre manager of one of the reputed education services, Pearson VUE, which helps the students wanting to go abroad with English Language Test (The Pearson Test of English Academic [PTE-A]), was booked for arranging proxy candidates in Chandigarh on Wednesday. The test centre of Pearson VUE is located at Elante Mall in Phase-1, Industrial Area.

The accused was identified as Mandeep Sethi. He is absconding. Names of at least 22 candidates against whom proxy candidates appeared were mentioned in the FIR. The PTE-A is a computer-based test of English language made compulsory by various universities, colleges and governments around the world. Sethi was sacked from the Pearson VUE, which belongs to M/s Pearson India Education Services Pvt Ltd.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of one of the representatives of Pearson VUE, Shantanu Kumar. Police said Perason VUE is authorised to conduct the PTE-A for half a dozen foreign countries, including New Zealand and Austria.

A staff member of the company requesting anonymity said, “There is a set protocol for appearing in PTE-A in our centre. A candidate has to give his palm vein scan, photograph and signature at the admin desk before entering the examination room. He also gets his passport checked at the admin desk. After giving the palm vein scan, photograph and signature, the candidate has to wait to enter the examination room. But at Chandigarh centre, we observed various discrepancies. The scrutiny of CCTV cameras revealed that the original candidate entered the washroom but proxy candidates came out from the washroom dressed in the clothes of actual candidates. The internal probe also established when Mandeep Sethi was facilitating these proxy candidates to entre the examination room using some other identity cards. We collected all the relevant evidence in the shape of CCTV footages, signatures and original documents of actual candidates.”

DSP (East) Dilsher Singh Chandel said, “The role of 22 original candidates is being investigated. We have sought more details from the Pearson VUE. As per the company, the internal probe was started when some of candidates who had performed very badly in PTE-A earlier did excellent within a short period. The company launched an internal probe and lodged a complaint with the police.”

A case of forgery, cheating, impersonation and criminal conspiracy was registered at the Industrial Area police station.

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