News Brief

NEET-UG 2024: CBI Begins Investigation Into Exam Irregularities On Education Ministry's Request — Here’s What’s Being Probed

Swarajya Staff

Jun 23, 2024, 06:04 PM | Updated 06:04 PM IST

Students check entrance exam results. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)
Students check entrance exam results. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a fresh case regarding the alleged paper leak in the NEET medical entrance exam, following a complaint by the Ministry of Education.

The new case, against unidentified persons, involves allegations of fraud and criminal conspiracy.

According to a report by NDTV, those already arrested by state authorities will also be taken into custody by the CBI.

The Ministry has requested the CBI to investigate the involvement of any public servants connected to the exam and to explore the "larger conspiracy".

"The Ministry of Education has requested the CBI to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the entire gamut of alleged irregularities, including conspiracy, cheating, impersonation, breach of trust, and destruction of evidence by candidates, institutes, and middlemen, including attempted irregularities," CBI said in a statement.

"The Ministry has also requested CBI for investigation into the role of public servants, if any, connected with the conduct of the examination and also into the entire gamut of events and the larger conspiracy," it added.

"CBI has accordingly registered a criminal case and initiated an investigation. Special teams have been formed by the CBI to investigate the matter on top priority. Special CBI teams are being sent to Patna and Godhra where local police cases have been registered," the statement said.

The CBI's takeover of the case comes a day after the government, which had initially dismissed the possibility of a paper leak, announced that the investigation would be handed over to the central agency.

Allegations of irregularities, including cheating, impersonation, and other malpractices, surfaced following the declaration of NEET-UG 2024 results on 4 June.

Students have been demanding that the exam be rescheduled for all candidates, not just the 1,500 who received grace marks.

However, the government has not accepted this demand, and the re-test for 1,563 candidates who initially received grace marks is being conducted today.

The original exam, held on 5 May, was taken by 24 lakh students nationwide.

When the results were announced, it was revealed that 67 students scored a perfect 720/720 marks, and over 500 students received grace marks.

This led to an unusually high cut-off percentage, causing concern among students about securing admission to any college.

As protests continued and the investigation progressed, several individuals were arrested in Bihar. One arrested student admitted to receiving the exam papers the night before the test.

In response to the alleged scandal, the head of the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducted the exam, has been removed from his position.

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