Two Epicenters Of The NEET Scam, What Happened In Gujarat & Bihar?

Two Epicenters Of The NEET Scam, What Happened In Gujarat & Bihar?

At the heart of this scandal are two key states: Gujarat and Bihar, where a significant cheating scandal has been uncovered. As the row over the NEET exam continues to rage, revelations and confessions continue to shake the very foundation of the NEET exam, but before that, it's crucial to understand the sequence of events, the people involved, and what lies ahead.

Megha ChowdhuryUpdated: Monday, June 17, 2024, 04:13 PM IST
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The biggest medical entrance exam in India, the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) 2024, has become a national sensation with all the arrests, investigations, scams, and students’ demands for justice following the alleged paper leak.

At the heart of this scandal are two key states: Gujarat and Bihar, where a significant cheating scandal has been uncovered. As the row over the NEET exam continues to rage, revelations and confessions continue to shake the very foundation of the NEET exam, it's crucial to understand the sequence of events, the people involved, and what lies ahead.

Before knowing about the scams here are a few reasons why the NEET-UG results have sparked a controversy:

1 - 67 students scored perfect marks getting 720.

2 - Students scored 718, 719 marks which is impossible according to the NEET marking scheme.

3 - Releasing NEET-UG results 10 days earlier on June 4, the same day when LS poll results were announced.

4 - Numerous NEET-UG 2024 toppers are from the same examination centre.

5 - Allegations of NEET question papers leaks.

What happened in Godhra?

An exam centre was raided on May 5th during the NEET exam after which a major scam was revealed. According to the police investigation, it involved a nexus between a coaching institute and staff at the exam centre where the NEET was conducted.

Around a dozen students, their parents and a Vadodara-based coaching centre run by a group of teachers are involved in the alleged scam. Students in Gujarat who could cough up big money were told to leave blank questions they could not answer in the NEET examination held in March. In exchange for lakhs of rupees, these were later filled up by teachers who were part of the scam.

According to a police complaint filed in Godhra on June 13, the scam involves, as of now, 12 students, their parents and a coaching centre run by a group of teachers who decided to beat the system with bribe money.

The students whose families paid money were told to skip questions whose answers they did not know during the NEET exam at the Jay Jalaram School exam centre on May 5th. The answers would be written by teachers once the papers were submitted, said the FIR.

The lid on the 'scam' was blown off during a raid at the exam centre following a tip-off by the district magistrate of the city. The scam was exposed around 10 am after an inspection by the education department.

So far, the police have arrested several key accused who were involved in executing this cheating racket. Those arrested include:

1. Parshuram Roy, owner of the Roy Overseas Coaching Institute in Vadodara,

2. Vibhor Anand, an education consultant who got students admitted to Roy's Institute,

3. Purshottam Sharma, the principal of Jai Jalaram School which was a NEET exam centre,

4. Tushar Bhatt, the deputy superintendent at the NEET centre who was a physics teacher at the school and

5. Arif Vora who worked with Bhatt

The scam took advantage of the time gap between the exam ending and the answer sheets being collected from the centre. The coaching institute would allegedly put out the answer key just 30 minutes after the exam ended.

The police investigation found staggering sums of money were involved. Each student's parents paid around Rs 10 lakh on average for the cheating service. Some even paid over Rs 2 crore to the accused for getting their children admitted overseas.

The names of the 26 students had been found in two lists, out of which the police informed the court that 16 students hailed from Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Karnataka but had chosen Godhra’s Jai Jalaram School as their preferred centre for the exam. 

With assistance from the National Testing Agency which conducts NEET, the police are now trying to identify all the students who benefited from this organised cheating racket. Gujarat after a raid at an exam centre. According to the police investigation as reported by The Print, it involved a nexus between a coaching institute and staff at the exam centre where the NEET was conducted.

What happened in Bihar? 

Shortly after the NEET exam started on May 5th, reports of a paper leak surfaced. Five minutes into the exam, the Patna police got a tip-off about a car, which they tracked down only to find out about an organised gang who had earlier taken 35 examinees to a playschool in Patna and leaked the paper. 

An FIR was registered at the Shastrinagar police station, confirming the leak, and police recovered a scanned copy of the leaked paper sent to a young man in Danapur. Further arrests included four fake candidates in Purnia and one in Hajipur, attempting to sit the exam on behalf of others.

The issue which has snowballed into a national controversy and reached the doors of the Supreme Court, that tip-off is now seen as a “tip of an iceberg” in hindsight. So far, 13 people (belonging to Bihar), including four examinees and their family members, have been arrested in connection with the alleged NEET-UG 2024 paper leak case.

According to sources, it is suspected that nine aspirants, along with four other examinees from Bihar, received the exam's question paper and answers in a 'safe house' near Patna a day before it was conducted on May 5. They have already been arrested by the Economic Offences Unit (EOU).

During interrogation, the aspirants disclosed that their parents had paid more than Rs 30 lakh for every candidate to those who were facilitated question papers ahead of the exam. The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar Police has recovered six post-dated cheques which were suspected to have been issued in favour of the mafia.

So far, the Bihar Police have established the involvement of 35 students, 13 of whom have already come under their investigation, while investigators are yet to identify the remaining 22.

Case Status:

The Supreme Court is currently hearing petitions for the cancellation and re-examination of the NEET-UG 2024, which were prompted by allegations of a paper leak and irregularities in the allocation of grace marks. During the proceedings, it was announced that the scores of 1,563 NEET-UG 2024 candidates had been invalidated. The NTA has informed the court that a re-examination for these candidates will take place on June 23, with results and counselling expected by June 30.

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