Cancelled UGC-NET question paper was sold on Telegram for Rs 5,000: Report

Cancelled UGC-NET question paper was sold on Telegram for Rs 5,000: Report

The question paper for the UGC-NET exam, held on Tuesday, was leaked and sold on encrypted social media platforms, according to reports.

According to News18, I4C officials found that the exam paper was being sold for Rs 5,000 on Telegram and had asked the Education Ministry to act on it. A routine input that included initial details of analysis by the Ministry of Home Affairs’ I4C triggered the cancellation of the UGC-NET exam.  The input mentioned the compromise of the exam’s integrity and with that the exam paper was available on Telegram before the test was conducted.

According to the report, Telegram was the epicentre of the leak while several groups created to maximise profits through advertisements. "However, it is still not known been found yet from where the Telegram groups’ administrators got the paper, but it is expected that it was sourced through Dark web," sources told News18.

“Officials became aware of Telegram groups where the NET paper was being sold. During the initial analysis, social media apps showed messages of the leaked NET paper circulating from these groups. A report was prepared and sent to the Ministry of Education,” a senior official told News18 on condition of anonymity.

Speaking about the nature of the input, the official said, “Every day, we receive information about leaks and attacks, prompting us to request action from concerned agencies, departments, or ministries. Similarly, our team found that the NET paper was being sold. It was a routine input with initial details such as links to the groups and screenshots,” the official added.

UGC-NET refers to the University Grants Commission' National Eligibility Test. It is a qualifying exam for appointments to professorial posts in colleges and universities, as well as fellowships. Over 11 lakh students had registered for the exam.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against unknown persons for “compromising the integrity” of the UGC-NET exam conducted on June 18.

The cancellation of NET came amid allegations of irregularities in the NEET-UG 2024 medical entrance exam, with the matter now before the Supreme Court.