Home > 

CBI Arrests Two in Patna for NEET-UG Paper Leak Scandal

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has made significant strides in the NEET-UG paper leak controversy, making its first arrests in Bihar’s capital, Patna. The apprehended individuals, Manish Kumar and Ashutosh Kumar, are alleged to have facilitated a secure location for exam candidates prior to the test, where they were furnished with leaked examination papers and answer keys, according to officials.

The NEET-UG, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), serves as a gateway for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and related courses in both government and private institutions across India. This year’s exam took place on May 5th across 4,750 centers in 571 cities, including 14 international locations. The high-stakes test saw the participation of more than 23 lakh aspirants.

The CBI’s involvement marks a critical turn in the investigation of the paper leak scandal. Following widespread protests by students demanding an impartial probe into the irregularities, the Ministry decided to transfer the case to the central agency. In response, the CBI laid the groundwork by registering six First Information Reports (FIRs) to tackle the various facets of this widespread scam. The initial FIR was lodged on Sunday, a day after official orders were issued to hand over the investigation to the CBI.

Manish Kumar and Ashutosh Kumar are believed to be pivotal players in the broader syndicate responsible for leaking the NEET-UG papers. The duo is accused of creating a safe environment where candidates could review the leaked materials and answer keys before appearing for the examination. This illegal preparation undoubtedly provided these candidates with an unfair advantage, undermining the integrity of the highly competitive examination.

The NEET-UG is one of the most significant exams in the Indian educational calendar, opening doors for students aspiring to join medical and dental courses. The alleged leak has not only jeopardized the futures of several meritorious students but also brought into question the security measures employed by the NTA for such high-stakes exams.

According to sources within the CBI, both Manish and Ashutosh have been under surveillance for quite some time.

Join Get ₹99!

. Their arrest is the culmination of weeks of meticulous investigation, surveillance, and intelligence gathering. It is expected that their custodial interrogation will reveal more insights into the network and help in apprehending other individuals involved in this corrupt practice.

Students and education campaigners have welcomed the arrests, expressing hope that this would lead to a cleaner and more transparent examination process in the future. The atmosphere of trust and integrity, paramount to the education system, has taken a beating, and many believe that stringent and exemplary actions against those involved in such malpractices are the need of the hour.

As the investigation progresses, the CBI is expected to delve deeper into understanding the extent of the leak. There are questions about whether this was an isolated incident or part of a larger, systemic failure. Additionally, the probe will likely examine how the leaked papers were distributed and the financial transactions that facilitated this illegal enterprise.

In recent years, there have been rising incidents of exam paper leaks across various states in India, affecting not just medical entrance exams like NEET but also other significant tests. The recurring nature of such leaks raises concerns about the robustness of the existing examination processes and the loopholes that are being exploited by unscrupulous individuals. The involvement of high-level educational administrators, coaching institutes, and even some corrupt officials has often been speculated upon, calling for comprehensive reforms and stringent monitoring mechanisms.

The NEET-UG exam holds immense importance for lakhs of students who painstakingly prepare for it to secure a future in the medical field. The latest scandal is a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities existing within the system. It also underscores the critical need for improved security protocols and real-time monitoring to prevent such breaches.

Public trust in educational institutions and examining bodies must be restored, and this can only be achieved through transparency, accountability, and strict punitive measures against those involved in corrupt practices. The arrests made by the CBI are a step in the right direction, but the path to a foolproof system where merit reigns supreme is still long and necessitates unwavering commitment from all stakeholders involved.

(With inputs from PTI)

READ | Veteran BJP leader LK Advani discharged from AIIMS Delhi