Anamika Shukla case: The scam in education department of Uttar PPradesh was unearthed after the department started creating a database of teachers using software Prerna Application.
The probe into the case of Anamika Shukla has unearthed a large-scale mafia operating in the education department of Uttar Pradesh. According to a report in The Indian Express, at least 8 people have been arrested so far in the case wherein documents on an unemployed woman were used by many to secure multiple jobs in the Uttar Pradesh’s education department. The eight persons include the mastermind, education department officials and some women.
The scam was unearthed after the department started creating a database of teachers using a software — Prerna Application. It was during this exercise, serious discrepancies were found, prompting the authorities to launch a probe. It was revealed that salaries worth lakhs of rupees were withdrawn from several government schools across the state. The case was assigned to UP STF for a detailed probe.
How the Anamika Shukla scam was unearthed
Prerna Application, a software maintaining the database of all teachers employed with the state Basic Education Department, showed some discrepancies in the attendance marked by some teachers in March. The app is monitored at the state and district levels. The discrepancies were taken into account by the authorities. Interestingly, when the government introduced an exercise to use the app for attendance using selfies, teachers across the state had in one voice opposed the move.
In the Anamika Shukla case, officers found something amiss in the attendance being marked by the lady with the same credentials at six KGBVs in districts. However, investigations were delayed due to the lockdown.
How the scam operated
Shocking details came to fore during the probe. According to the real Anamika Shukla, she never worked as a teacher despite applying since 2017 in multiple districts. The lady had in 2017 applied at KGBVs in six districts — Sultanpur, Jaunpur, Basti, Mirzapur and Lucknow. But did not attend the counselling process due to personal reasons and health issues.
However, a copy of her documents was allegedly accessed by a clerk at the Basic Education Department in Jaunpur. The clerk has been identified as Anand Singh, now behind bars. He made copies of the documents and passed them on to the alleged mastermind Pushpendra. Pushpendra gave copies of the same documents to different women who wanted jobs and charged between Rs 2-3 lakh for getting them women the job.
Subsequently, several women were shortlisted at Baghpat, Varanasi, Aligarh, Kasganj, Amethi, Raebareli, Prayagraj, Saharanpur and Ambedkar Nagar on the basis of these copied documents.
Out of these nine districts, women got jobs in six and drew Rs 12.24 lakh as salaries.
Recruitment at KGBV
To get a job at Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV), a candidate need not to submit original documents and that only attested copies of originals are required. Also, the candidate is not required to sit for a written examination and the first round of selection is done on the basis of scores of B.Ed, Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) and other examinations like Class X and XII.
The real Anamika Shukla had high scores in her B.Ed and TET. Therefore, several women who used copies of her documents were shortlisted in the first round itself.
How candidates circumvent counselling
No questions or doubts were raised by the committee screening documents because candidates for the ad hoc jobs reached the counselling centre in the last 10-15 minutes. This way, they prevent the committee screening the documents from not getting enough time to question candidates about their subjects. The committee included a team of district officials, including Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) and a psychology expert.
Since the documents used by the candidates were genuine — it was a case of impersonation and not of forgery, the documents were verified by the boards and universities multiple times without anyone getting to know about the fraud.
The scam could not come to fore earlier because the KGBVs were run on the district level without any centralisation. The entire plot was revealed only after the introduction of the Prerna Application in 2019.
Mastermind worked as teacher at a govt school
Interestingly, apart from providing documents to nine women, Pushpendra was himself working as an assistant teacher at a government school. He was working at a government school in Farrukhabad in the name of Sushil Chandra. His brother Jaswant was working as Vibhav Kumar, headmaster of a school in Kannauj district.
But the method used by Pushpendra for securing jobs for himself and his brother was different from that of Anamika Shukla.
According to the IE report, Pushpendra after getting to know of people and their educational qualification, he would lodge a police complaint through post reporting that the original documents have been lost. He then managed to get an advertisement published in a newspaper with the help of the police complaint. He would then apply for new documents to examination boards, colleges and universities for fresh original documents which were used by him and Jaswant to get jobs at government schools.