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Jharkhand govt holds D Pharm exam under CCTV surveillance to prevent malpractices

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In order to curb cheating in examinations and to prevent all kinds of malpractices in the examination hall of the diploma in pharmacy (D Pharm) course, the government of Jharkhand has set up a common examination centre at the YBN University Campus in Ranchi and installed CCTV cameras for strict vigilance and supervision.

According to Kaushalendra Kumar, member secretary of the D Pharm Examination Committee, the D Pharm examination started on May 29 under CCTV camera’s surveillance and it will continue upto June 3.
The Jharkhand D Pharm Examination Committee (DEC) under the health and family welfare department is the nodal entity to conduct the examination and issue certificates to the students.
The DEC has taken these stringent measures in the wake of incidents of cheating in examinations that occurred in previous years prior to 2022. The state received a bad reputation of examination malpractices in D Pharm examinations in the year 2020 and in 2021, and enquiry is still going on against several institutions.  
Sources from the state drug control department informed Pharmabiz that the department of health has engaged senior officers in the drug control department also into the supervisory committees to hold the examination smoothly in the same way it was done in 2022.
According to sources, there was no malpractice held in the examinations in 2022 because of stringent measures taken in the wake of incidents of previous years. It was reported in 2020 and in 2021 that large-scale cheating was held in the examinations of D Pharm and the malpractices included copying by students allegedly with the support of teachers and college managements. Following this, the government appointed a supervisory committee in 2022 and conducted the examination which was held without any malpractices, but the result was very poor. According to sources from the DEC, only 6% of the students (189) of the D Pharm passed in the 2022 final year examinations.
The former director of the drugs control department in Jharkhand, Dr. B L Das while speaking to Pharmabiz, said the problems were started in the examination process in 2019 with the appointment of a pharmacist from the Central Coal Field Limited, a company under the central government, as chairman of the DEC. The post was till then reserved, as ex-officio, for the director of the drugs control department. Further, the government appointed the Registrar of the state pharmacy council as one of the member-secretaries of the committee. He alleged that these two persons are having poor experiences in conducting the examinations and other related matters. Dr. Das is now running two diploma colleges in Jharkhand.
Sharing information with Pharmabiz, Dharmendra Singh, an EC member of the PCI from Jharkhand said in the year 2020 and in 2021 examinations, students brought book-notes and rough papers inside the examination hall and in those two years all the colleges in the state won 100 per cent results. But, in the year 2022, since there was strict vigilance and no student was allowed to copy notes from books or papers, the net result was less than six percent. He said the same supervision and scrutiny will be held this year too. 
According to Kaushalendra Kumar, the member-secretary, who is also the Registrar of the JSPC, there are 53 pharmacy institutions in Jharkhand, out of which one is under government sector. In addition to this, there are 10 private universities who conduct the examinations by themselves and issue certificates to their students.
Dr. B L Das has alleged that either the government or the PCI has so far not taken any action against the pharmacy colleges which were found responsible for malpractices in examinations in 2020 and in 2021. The concerned department is not even replying to RTI queries being sent by the public, he alleged.


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