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CBI Registers FIR, Probes UGC-NET Exam Controversy

The CBI registered a First Information Report (FIR) into the UGC-NET paper leak case on Thursday against unidentified persons on a reference from the Union Education Ministry, officials said.

The UGC-NET, 2024, exam for the selection of junior research fellows, assistant professors and PhD scholars was conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on June 18 in two shifts across the country.

The next day, the University Grants Commission received inputs from the National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (l4C) that the paper was available on the darknet and was allegedly being sold for ₹ 5-6 lakh on messaging platforms, sources said.

They said the CBI will work in close coordination with the I4C while deploying its own darknet exploration software and systems to nail down the perpetrators.

According to the complaint from the Education Ministry, the inputs from I4C, which functions under the Union Home Ministry, “prima-facie indicate that the integrity of the examination may have been compromised”, officials said.

“To ensure the highest level of transparency and sanctity of the examination process, the Ministry of Education, Government of India, has decided to cancel the aforesaid examination and to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation for a thorough investigation in the matter,” the reference note from the Secretary, Education Ministry, K Sanjay Murthy said.

The reference note is now part of the FIR.

The facts of the complaint prima facie disclose the commission of offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code against unknown accused, the FIR states.

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