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MD of Pathway Education Services, five others held for rigging BITSAT

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday arrested the Managing Director of Delhi-based Pathway Education Services, on charges of rigging the entrance examination of BITS Pilani, in exchange for large sums of cash money.

The central probe agency nabbed five other accused in the case including owners of examination centres in Ahmedabad and Vadodara, which were compromised as part of the racket and two cyber technical experts who had designed the system to manipulate the entrance test of BITS Pilani known as BITSAT.

The agency said it also carried out raids in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Vadodara and recovered several incriminating documents along with Rs 33 lakh in cash and several signed blank cheques.

The CBI has alleged that Bhaskar Choudhary, MD of Pathway Education conspired with the other accused and came up with a premium service to offer parents of students aspiring to get into the esteemed institution a service, where applicants would not have to answer the questions of the test themselves.

The test-manipulation racket came to light when the father of a student in Gandhinagar was approached by someone claiming to call from Pathway Education Services in Delhi. After repeated calls to the complainant, he decided to report the matter to the CBI in Gujarat, which took up the investigation in the case after registering an FIR on May 22.

After repeated calls, the complainant decided to visit the partner, one Ketan Barot of Disha Education in Ahmedabad, where Barot revealed incriminating details of the racket he was part of. According to the verification report, part of the CBI FIR, Barot had boasted to the complainant that rigging examinations of institutes like BITS Pilani and Vellore Institute of Technology were a small matter for them.

Barot allegedly also claimed that their "real work" lies in the manipulation of exams like NEET UG, NEET PG, and JEE Advanced. He further allegedly claimed that they would charge around Rs80-90 lakh for NEET UG and as much as Rs2-2.5 crore for rigging the NEET PG exams.

The agency's FIR alleges that Barot had explained the system of rigging the BITSAT exam to the complainant saying that their operation had a covert understanding with the company that provided them access to the BITS Pilani servers and demanded Rs 10 lakh from the complainant to get the job done for his daughter.

Cyber experts Sheth Mohammed Usama and Virag Harendra Kumar Shah had allegedly designed a system to manipulate the entrance test of the coveted private college, and other institutes like the Vellore Institute of Technology.

The system was designed in a manner where students would be sitting in front of their computer at the designated exam centres in Vadodara and Ahmedabad, while "expert scholars" would answer test questions on their behalf by taking over the test-takers' computer through a remote desktop technology.

All arrested were produced in a Delhi court on Saturday and were remanded to a 12-day police custody.

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