A racket of dummy candidates appearing for written tests for admission to Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in Juhu has come to light.
The Mumbai Police Crime Branch,which busted the racket and arrested six persons,said that this fraudulent route was used by 87 students this year to reach the merit list and 61 of them have taken admission to the 2013-2015 batch. In fact,22 students who entered the institute using dummy writers have passed the MBA course this year,they said.
The NMIMS management had approached the Crime Branch in April after discovering that interview skills of some high-scorers were poor,and photographs on the entrance test hall tickets and group discussion tickets did not match.
The Crime Branch found around 61 candidates got admission to NMIMS using dummy students this year,and around 22 who used dummy candidates in 2011 completed their course from NMIMS in 2013.
We will take legal opinion as to whether we can book these students, said Roy.
The Crime Branch said the arrests have blown the lid off a larger racket in which a group of six persons approached B-Tech professionals,engineers and doctors to appear for entrance exams as dummy candidates for a remuneration of Rs 1 lakh. The actual aspirants were told to appear for interviews and group discussion themselves,Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.
These impostors have appeared for exams like CAT,GMAT,Medical and Engineering,and MBA entrance exams across the country, said Roy. The Crime Branch arrested a dummy candidate identified as Alok Kumar,a BTech chemical engineer from VIT,Kanpur. They also arrested conspirators identified as Brajendra Pratap Singh,Hanumant Singh Gujjar and Sugriv Singh Gujjar. Two middlemen,Pavan Kumar and Himanshu Shekar,have been held for luring students from coaching classes and career guidance classes.
Doubting academic profiles of some students,NMIMS approached Mumbai Police. Officers of the Cyber Cell in Bandra Kurla Complex and Crime Branch Unit 8 were ordered to conduct a joint probe.
We found that the online exams were given through a website of the company M/S Pearson Vue,which was breached by these impostors who forged identity documents and appeared in place of the candidates, confirmed Roy.
Eighty-seven students used this fraudulent route this year,Roy said.
The accused,who mediated between impostors and candidates,approached students through coaching classes and education consultancies like Meta Consultancy and Career Guidance in Ghaziabad and Noida area, Roy said. They would promise students admission to top-B schools that had 100 per cent placements through management quota,but the student would have to spend Rs 20 lakh to clear the entrance exams, Roy added.
After the Gujjar brothers filled online forms for admissions using credit cards,dummy students took over,replacing the candidates photograph with their own. The actual candidate went to the group discussion (GD) and personal interview (PI). With high scores in the online exam,even if he did not score well in GD and PI,his admission was guaranteed, said Roy.
The police found 87 students submitted a photo at the time of written examination,and another at the time of PI and GD. The crime branch learnt that around 61 have already got admission using dummy students in 2013 and around 22 who allowed dummy candidates to sit for their exams in 2011 completed the MBA course this year.
The exams are conducted at various centres and students can choose the time when he wants to appear for the exams. They submit original photos at the time of applying,but make duplicate hall tickets and stick photos of dummy candidates and make a fake Aadhaar card and then appear for the exams. Again,at the time of PI and GD,the actual candidate went with the hall ticket altered again, said Nandkishore More,police inspector of Cyber Cell,Bandra unit.
During this process,our admission department discovered discrepancies between photographs at the time of written tests and photographs affixed on interview application, said Vice-Chancellor of NMIMS,Dr Rajan Saxena. There are about 87 candidates in the final merit list who managed to pass the written exam with the help of dummy candidates. Most scored high,220 and above. Admission of all candidates who managed to get admission to NMIMS fraudulently will be cancelled and legal action taken against them, added Saxena.
NMIMS conducts an entrance test for NMAT. The test from admissions to 2013-15 batch was conducted from October 11,2012 to December 19,2012. This year,around 69,000 candidates appeared for NMAT for 600 MBA seats
Candidates had to show a photo ID proof document at the test centres where their photograph was captured. The results of the test was declared on January 24,2013 and 2,500 candidates were shortlisted for the next round. At this stage,each student was required to fill a form and affix a photograph. Following a discrepancy a thorough check of matching each candidates photograph with photographs taken at the time of written test was done by the admission department
Saxena said,Admissions are merit-based. Each year,we have brought to the notice of police all such cases of fraudulent attempts to secure admission to NMIMS. This is an eye-opener for other institutes. It is also a lesson for the institute administration to be extra vigilant in the admission process