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Sunday, September 19, 2021

7 held in case of JEE (Mains) exam ‘rigging’

The CBI has till now identified at least 30 students who appeared, allegedly fraudulently, for the exams held between August 26 and September 1.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: September 4, 2021 11:13:31 am
NTA JEE Main session 3 2021 answer key downloadThe CBI has till now identified at least 30 students who appeared, allegedly fraudulently, for the exams held between August 26 and September 1. (File)

The CBI on Friday arrested seven people in connection with a case of alleged rigging of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) (Mains) examination this year. This comes a day after the agency raided 19 locations across Delhi-NCR, Pune, Jamshedpur, Indore and Bengaluru to uncover a racket after registering an FIR in the matter.

The CBI has till now identified at least 30 students who appeared, allegedly fraudulently, for the exams held between August 26 and September 1.
Sources said the racket was run allegedly by Noida-based company Affinity Education Pvt Ltd, in connivance with those managing online examination centres in Haryana and elsewhere. An associate in Jharkhand had allegedly arranged for solvers, who would remotely solve the questions for candidates who paid to the company, it is learnt.

According to the CBI’s FIR, Affinity Education was registered with the Registrar of Companies in 2019, with Vishvambhar Mani Tripathi, Siddharth Krishna and Govind Varshney as its directors. The company also has an office in Pune.

Krishna and Tripathy were arrested by CBI on Friday along with other employees of the company, identified as Ritik Singh, Anjum Dawoodani, Animesh Singh and Ajinkya Patil. Another person, identified as Ranjit Singh Thakur, from Jharkhand, who allegedly arranged for solvers, has also been arrested.

Tripathi, Krishna and Ritik Singh were produced in a special court and remanded in CBI custody until September 9.

“While the initial information was about an examination centre in Sonepat, Haryana, we have now learnt about more such centres around Sonepat, which had been compromised by the accused,” a CBI officer said. “Candidates from as far as Maharashtra had come to appear for the exams at Sonepat. We are also probing whether they did this last year as well, and if they have got some students already admitted in premier engineering institutes.”

It is likely there are more such institutes, and that is being investigated, the officer said.

JEE (Mains) are held for admission into undergraduate engineering programmes — BE/B.Tech) — at NITs, IIITs, other Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs), and certain institutions or universities recognised by some state governments.

The CBI probe has found that the accused scouted for students willing to appear for the exams fraudulently by paying between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 15 lakh. The accused allegedly took post-dated cheques from candidates and kept their original Class X and Class XII marksheets as security. The idea, sources said, was to cash the cheques after the candidates secured a place in the merit list.

The accused also “collected User ID and Password of the candidates and made necessary modification for getting desired examination centres as planned by them,” the FIR stated. “The counselors also collect a copy of the downloaded admit card of the candidates before the examination.”

Ranjeet Singh Thakur, from Adityapur in Jharkhand, allegedly arranged for solvers for these candidates, the agency has said.

According to CBI, Thakur arranged a solver, who would sit at a “remote location for solving the questions, displayed on the computer terminal allotted to the candidate at the examination centre in connivance with the centre authorities”.

The agency stated, “The centre supervisor, who has access to the computer network, is also a part of the fraudulent act and the solver gets access to the system being used by the candidate by using a remote access software…”

“The candidates are directed to pretend that they are operating the computer by keeping their hand on a mouse and making calculations on a sheet so that nothing adverse is recorded in the camera installed at the centre, whereas the questions are solved by solvers,” according to CBI.

Sources said the information initially received by CBI said that two students from Delhi’s Moti Nagar and Mayur Vihar were going to appear for the exams fraudulently at the Sonepat centre. Subsequent raids by the agency have led to recovery of “25 Laptops, seven PCs, around 30 Post-Dated Cheques along with voluminous incriminating documents/ devices including mark sheets of different students”, the FIR stated.

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