Seems that ghosts of the Vyampam scam will continue to haunt the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh government as rechristening it twice in the past seven years could not suppress the fraud for long and it surfaced five years after the name change.
The Vyapam scam was an entrance examination, admission and recruitment scam. It was functional since the 1990s and was finally unearthed in 2013.
It first rocked the government in 2013, when it surfaced that candidates bribed officials to use imposters to take exams on their behalf.
The state government first rechristened it as Professional Examination Board (PEB) in 2015 and in February this year renamed it as Karmchaari Chayan Mandal (Staff Selection Board).
For the second time, an attempt was made to wash off the stains of Vyapam by changing its name, but with the kind of scams that are being unearthed in the recruitment examinations in the country, the Staff Selection Board, seems that the ghost of the scam will continue to haunt the state government.
Apart from all the entrance examinations held in the state, Vyapam has been conducting the recruitment of class III and IV employees as well.
Vyapam, earlier known as the PEB came into existence in 1970 conducting pre-medical tests for students seeking admissions to medical colleges in the state.
On the other hand, the Pre-Engineering Board was formed in 1980 for conducting the entrance examination for students seeking admissions in engineering colleges.
Later in 1982, both the medical and engineering boards were merged and named as the Professional Examination Board.
Vyapam used to conduct only Pre-Medical Test and Pre-Engineering Test till 2004, but from this year it has given the responsibility of recruitment in government jobs.
Vyapam, now known as the Staff Selection Board, will now function under the General Administration Department.
The irregularities in the examinations came to the fore after the 2013 Assembly elections. The turning point in this came when some people associated with the scam died suspiciously.
It involved many politicians and administrative officers who were ultimately arrested and sent to jail.
Late former Cabinet minister and BJP leader Laxmikant Sharma, his OSD O.P. Shukla, BJP leader Sudhir Sharma, Dhananjay Yadav, OSD to the Madhya Pradesh Governor, Madhya Pradesh Governor's son and Controller of Vyapam Pankaj Trivedi and computer analyst Nitin Mohendra names figured in the corruption and were sent to jail.
Taking a dig at the BJP, Ajay Singh Yadav, Vice President of Congress Media Cell, says that the BJP government thinks that changing the name of Vyapam will whitewash the taint on it, but it is not possible because Vyapam has destroyed the careers of thousands of youth in the state.
The people who were exploited, their talent has been wasted which even the coming generations will not be able to forget. The state government can change the name but the voices of the whistleblowers who exposed the Vyapam scam cannot be suppressed, Yadav added.