The Ministry of Education has directed the CBI to launch a thorough investigation into the alleged exam irregularities.

On Sunday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the investigation of the NEET-UG exam scandal, dispatching teams to multiple states. Concurrently, the Economic Offenses Unit of the Bihar Police apprehended five individuals involved in the NEET paper leak, bringing the total arrests in the state to 18.

The National Testing Agency (NTA), under scrutiny for postponing and canceling several competitive exams, has debarred 17 students from Bihar for “malpractices,” totaling 110 students barred since the issue emerged.

Here are 10 key points on the NEET:

  1. On Sunday, out of 1,563 students asked to retake the NEET exam due to the grace marks controversy, only 813 appeared. The NTA had awarded grace marks at six centers due to exam delays on May 5, leading to allegations of inflated scores and six candidates from a Haryana center achieving perfect 720 marks. Nationwide, 67 students scored full marks in NEET-UG.
  2. The CBI has filed an FIR in the NEET-UG case under sections 20-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating). The Bihar and Gujarat governments have also transferred their NEET-UG paper leak cases to the CBI.
  3. Patna police arrested five individuals from Deoghar, Jharkhand, identified as Baldev Kumar, Mukesh Kumar, Panku Kumar, Rajeev Kumar, and Paramjeet Singh, all residents of Nalanda.
  4. Baldev Kumar, linked to the notorious Sanjeev Kumar alias Lutan Mukhiya gang, allegedly received the solved NEET-UG answer sheet in PDF format a day before the exam. The Mukhiya gang is known for orchestrating interstate paper leaks.
  5. Baldev and his associates printed the leaked answer sheets for students at a safe house in Patna’s Ram Krishna Nagar on May 4. Nitish Kumar and Amit Anand, previously arrested, had brought the students to this location.
  6. The NEET-UG question paper was reportedly obtained from a private school in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, by the Mukhiya gang.
  7. Investigators discovered partially burnt question papers at the Patna safe house, which matched the reference paper from the NTA, confirming the leak.
  8. The NTA has debarred 63 students in Bihar for cheating. On Saturday, it barred 30 students from Godhra, Gujarat. Recently, 17 more students from Bihar were debarred, bringing the total to 110.
  9. The Ministry of Education has asked the CBI to investigate the alleged irregularities, including conspiracy, cheating, impersonation, breach of trust, and destruction of evidence by candidates, institutes, and middlemen. The possible involvement of public servants will also be examined.
  10. A high-level panel formed by the Central government to suggest exam reforms and review the NTA’s functioning will meet on Monday, led by former ISRO, Chief K Radhakrishnan.