NEET and NET examination paper leak: CBI using ‘Vyapam’ experience to crack case, say officials

The investigation has been proceeding through four phases including scrutinising every aspect from the creation and printing of exam papers to their distribution across various examination centres nationwide.
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NEW DELHI: With CBI registering two separate FIRs for probing the NEET and the NET examination paper leak case, officials on Tuesday said that the agency investigators have launched a four-phase investigation into the cases.

They said that the CBI investigators are using their experience in cracking the cases related to Madhya Pradesh’s ‘Vyapam’ scam in which irregularities were committed in holding entrance examinations for admission and recruitment.

A senior official said, “The investigators already have a database of around 1,000 names and phone numbers, which were compiled during investigations into the ‘Vyapam’ scam and they are trying to trace those who may be connected to the current NEET/NET paper leaks.”

In this way the CBI sleuths expect that they would be able to identify suspects and establish communication patterns that could reveal the overall nexus behind the leaks, he said adding that the agency was able to ensure conviction in many of the ‘Vyapam’ cases.  

The official said that the investigation has been proceeding through four phases including scrutinising every aspect from the creation and printing of exam papers to their distribution across various examination centres nationwide. “During the course of the entire process, the CBI investigators are also looking into human elements involved in them and identifying them,” he said.

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   Since the National Testing Agency (NTA) has put in place a very stringent protocol for individuals directly involved in the preparation, printing, transportation, and secure storage of exam papers before the commencement of exams, the CBI investigation is looking into their roles in safeguarding the papers until just hours before the tests begin, the official said.

It is to be noted here that the controversy made headlines when it was found that an unusually high number of students scored a perfect 720 in the NEET-UG exam.

In the beginning while defending this, authorities said that this had happened because of a faulty question and logistical issues, but later Bihar police in their investigation found that the exam papers had been leaked to select candidates a day before the exam.

Nearly 24 lakh students had appeared for the NEET-UG 2024 for undergraduate medical courses. Over 9 lakh students took the UGC-NET exam, which assesses the eligibility for ‘Assistant Professor’ for ‘Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professor’ roles in universities and colleges.

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