PTE test centre manager booked for helping candidates cheat in Chandigarh

The manager of a PTE (Pearson Test of English Academic) test centre was booked for allegedly allowing candidates to cheat, on Tuesday.

PTE is a computer-based academic English language test aimed at non-native English speakers wanting to study abroad. It tests a candidate’s English reading, writing, listening and speaking ability and its scores are accepted by universities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom and United States of America.

As per the police, the accused has been identified as Mandeep Sethi, who works as the manager at Pearson Professional Test Centre, based in Elante offices in Chandigarh. It had opened up in 2018 and was one of the centres used by Pearson VUE to conduct computer-based examinations.

Complainant Shantanu Kumar, the authorised representative of Pearson VUE from Noida, alleged that candidates used to go to the washroom, and fake candidates wearing similar clothes would sit in their place and give the exam for them. Sethi was part of this pre-planned conspiracy, Kumar alleged.

A case under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered at the Industrial Area police station. Officials privy to the matter said that they tried to reach out to Sethi, but had been unable to trace him and he appeared to be on the run. “Once we talk to Sethi, we can ascertain how long the racket had been going on and how much he used to charge for this. We suspect that he helped around 10-15 candidates clear the exam this way but the number could be more.”

As per the centre’s website, they use bio-metric processes for security but police are yet to ascertain how the accused was able to manipulate the checks.

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