Several screenshots claiming to be taken during the Joint Engineering Examination (JEE) Main January 9 exam have gone viral on social media. While many Twitter users have been sharing the screenshots of the questions, these have been circulated from a thread in Quora — a question-answer based website under the thread, ‘what is the most disturbing picture you have seen.’ The thread went active allegedly on the first day of the BTech entrance exam that was from January 6. The result of JEE Main was released on January 17.
The screenshots have a watermarked number and ‘National Testing Agency‘ written on the top left corner. Indianexpress.com approached several national-level coaching institutes who confirmed that these questions match that of JEE Main 2020, however, no one wished to come on record. The images, as mentioned in the online thread, were uploaded at 11:49 am on January 9 while the exam was still being conducted. The entrance test was conducted from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on the same date. When indianexpress.com contacted students who took to Twitter and shared these screenshots, it was found that these images were doing rounds on WhatsApp.
When contacted the students who circulated images on WhatsApp told indianexpress.com, “we first found this on a telegram-based group where students shared these images. When we asked the student about the paper then s/he deleted their telegram account and we could not trace the user anymore.” The aspirant added, “The roll number feature on the screen was in our exams also. This is a security feature and can be a help in tracing the user from whose computer the images where taken, however, no action has been taken yet. Since we got images 40 minutes in advance, it is sure that the images did get out during the test itself. Even if it has added 50 students, this will impact all our ranks.”
Since NTA uses jammers to ban any electronic communication. How the images could be circulated out of the exam hall, if at all, remains a question.
Another aspirant told the indianexpress.com that they were asked to switch off the phones and keep them outside the exam hall. “I did not even take my phone with me to the exam for safety purposes, however, the invigilators had access to a phone but not inside the exam hall.” The aspirant also appeared in the same test in the same session during which the alleged leak took place. The exam was conducted on the same day across the country and the authenticity of these shots could not be verified.
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Aspirants who did not want to be named claimed that they have been circulating the screenshots on social media platforms to make the misconduct reach the NTA and cancel the exam. The NTA, however, claimed no formal complaint has reached them.
The Director-General, NTA, Vineet Joshi said that “with the jammers in place, any electronic communication would have been identified at the very moment”. He said that they have received no complaints and said that there is “absolutely no possibility of a leak” in the exams conducted by the NTA. The agency has not yet released the question papers of the January 2020 exam.
According to the NTA, a total number of 536 observers, 213 city-coordinators and 19 regional coordinators were deployed at 570 centres to oversee the smooth and fair conduct of the examination. The use of the mobile phone is also restricted by the use of jammers. A total of 9,21,261 students had registered for the exam this session.