+

UGC-NET Paper Leak: CBI Investigation Reveals Doctored Evidence

The investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged UGC-NET paper leak has revealed that the evidence leading to the cancellation of the exam, based on claims of a leaked paper, was manipulated, according to government sources speaking to The Indian Express.

The investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged UGC-NET paper leak has revealed that the evidence leading to the cancellation of the exam, based on claims of a leaked paper, was manipulated, according to government sources speaking to The Indian Express.

On June 19, the Union government cancelled the UGC-NET exam, crucial for entry-level teaching jobs and PhD admissions, following alerts from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) suggesting potential compromise in the exam’s integrity. The decision came after a screenshot of a UGC-NET paper circulated on a Telegram channel around 2 pm on June 18, the day of the exam. This raised concerns that the paper had been leaked before the first session began at 9.30 am.

The Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C) detected chatter about the alleged leak and informed the University Grants Commission (UGC) on June 19, prompting the cancellation announcement later that night. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the probe on June 23 at the request of the Education Ministry.

Government sources revealed that the CBI investigation found the screenshot of the question paper was altered to create the impression it was available before the exam. A candidate reportedly shared a photograph of the paper on Telegram shortly after the first session ended, which was then manipulated to suggest pre-exam availability.

“This was essentially orchestrated by a Telegram channel claiming the paper was leaked days before the exam, aiming to profit by selling access. They arranged a photo of the paper after the first session, altering it to appear leaked beforehand, to bolster their scheme,” a source said.

The CBI has informed the Education Ministry of these findings, although it remains uncertain if the cancellation decision will be reversed. The National Testing Agency (NTA) has tentatively scheduled a retest window from August 21 to September 4.

No arrests have been made in the case so far, with the CBI decoding the modus operandi based on digital traces from the Telegram channel. The agency is expected to submit its report soon.

UGC-NET, held twice yearly in June and December, consists of two papers without breaks: a common paper and a subject-specific one across 83 disciplines. The exam transitioned back to a pen-and-paper format this year after computer-based testing since December 2018.

Tags:

CBICentral Bureau of InvestigationTDGThe Daily GuardianUGC-NET Paper Leak