KOCHI: Pay Rs 99, and get the assignments for the Ignou courses online. With a huge network out there to promote malpractices in education, worrying about assignments that each course mandates is passe. For students looking for the easy way out, that is.
Veena (name changed) was surprised when she got a message on her phone saying that she will be able to get all her assignments for her Masters from the Ignou Open University programme if she paid Rs 99 per subject. With the promise of providing previous question papers, for a fee, a phone number was given too.
Some of her batchmates also got similar messages, sent as part of promotional bulk SMS. Interestingly, question papers are available for download from the Ignou site.
Express found another message that came to an Ignou student’s phone confirming that the ‘service provider’ has all the required assignments. They even provide bank and Paytm accounts to make payments to. “From what I understand, for each assignment, we are to pay Rs 99 and they even offer to give unique assignments to each student,” said Veena. “It is appalling and I wonder where they got mine and my batchmates’ contact numbers. What concerns us is that our Aadhaar details and copies of certificates had also been uploaded as part of the online admission process.”
‘EXPRESS’ contacted the IGNOU Regional Centre here to inquire if they received any complaints in this regard from students. “We are yet to receive any complaints,” said Sindhu P Nair, regional director in- charge. “However, the fact that such a network exists is appalling and we will send a report to the office in Delhi for appropriate action.
We would also like to warn all our students against such unlawful networks.”Veena has emailed a formal report to IGNOU along with the snapshots of the messages she received. Asked how the data could have been leaked, Sindhu said: “It could be the result of a cyber attack.” However, the possibility of student details being shared from within the IGNOU offices is a matter of concern that needs to be looked into.