PUNE: A thorough investigation into the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) paper leak scam by cybercrime detectives has revealed that the accused received training on how to leak exam papers to Patna, the state capital of Bihar. The revelation points to a nationwide network of agents involved in this leaked exam papers racket.
The investigation revealed that the private companies that organize the exams upload the questionnaires to their servers, a few hours before the exam. The people involved in the racket, through their connections, obtain the information from the server and falsify the confidential programming code. Some insiders of the company and part of those who run the exam are hand in hand in this operation, where they modify the marks of the candidates from whom they received an illegal gratuity.
An FIR in the case was filed against the accused at the Cyber Police Station under Sections 409, 420, 465, 467, 468 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code; and sections of Maharashtra Prevention of Malpractice Act in University, Board and other specified examinations. According to investigators, GA department and software insiders and agents were involved in this trademark manipulation scam. The OMR sheets were manipulated and in the event that the manipulation of the OMR sheets was not possible, the accused asked the candidates who had paid to keep the sheets blank in order to complete them themselves later.
City police have made high-profile arrests, including IAS officer Sushil Khodwekar for his alleged involvement in malfeasance related to the TFW held in January 2020. Khodwekar, deputy secretary of the government’s agriculture department of Maharashtra since November 2020, was earlier in charge of Assistant Secretary in the State Department of School Education and Sports. In this case, Sukhdev Hari Dere, 61, and GA Software Technologies Director Ashwini Kumar, 49, of the Karnataka Maharashtra State Examination Council; Commissioner Tukaram Namdev Supe; Education Department Technical Advisor Abhishek Savarikar; and Sanjay Shahurao Sanap have been arrested so far.
According to the city police, prima facie, a sum of Rs5 crore is estimated to be involved in this racket. The municipal police have prepared a detailed report on the case and will submit it to the state government as part of the investigation. Police have recommended comprehensive monitoring of exam centers, questionnaires, exam rooms and document verification as part of the awareness program to prevent such scams from happening in the future. The government was asked to assign the task of conducting the reviews to the relevant department instead of giving the responsibility to private companies.
The Cyber Police had registered three separate cases of malpractice in three examinations organized by the state health department, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and the TET. The links to the MHADA paper leak unearthed by the accused in the health department paper leak and the TET exam leak were found from information extracted during the investigation of the case MHADA accused. To date, no less than 24 people have been arrested in the three cases.