CAT paper leaked, exams off

New Delhi: The common admission test (CAT) for the MBA programme for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other colleges was cancelled after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) nabbed four persons leaking the question paper here a few hours ahead of the examination in 26 cities across the country.

The paper leakage came to light after the CBI, acting on a tip-off that a gang was leaking papers of various all-India level competitive examinations, conducted a surprise raid on a hotel near Mahipalpur on the Delhi-Gurgaon road. Four candidates were found in the company of four touts with a copy each of the question paper and answer sheet for yesterday's CAT examination.

Investigations revealed that the touts charged Rs 2.4 lakh from each student for showing them the paper. Their modus operandi was to approach candidates ahead of the examination with the promise of showing them the paper in advance. The candidates who bit the bait were asked to gather at a guesthouse or hotel on the eve of the examination.

They would be shown the paper and to ensure that the candidates did not pass on the information, the students were allowed to leave the premises only in the morning when there was just enough time for them to reach their respective examination centres. And, to ensure against dummy candidates, the touts entertained only students with valid admission cards.

An estimated 1.3 lakh students were registered for yesterday's examination, and the chairmen of admission committees of all six IIMs are expected to meet in the next couple of days to fix a new date for conducting CAT afresh. No mean job this, because they will have to zero in on a holiday on which no other examination of such a scale is scheduled. Also, there is the issue of availability of examination centres as most educational institutions are booked well in advance for the various tests that make up the annual examination cycle.