India’s federal investigating agency has arrested a Russian national on suspicion of hacking software used in a competitive national engineering test.
The Joint Entrance Examination is one of India's most prestigious and involves candidates seeking admission to bachelor’s degrees at colleges of engineering, technology, architecture and planning.
More than 700,000 students appeared for the Joint Entrance Examination. Fewer than 4 per cent succeeded.
In September 2021, police filed a case against a private company, its directors and three employees and private individuals for manipulating the online exams to help candidates gain admissions in exchange for money.
The bureau earlier arrested seven people, including two directors of a Noida-based private institution, in connection with the case and found the involvement of foreign nationals.
It said that Mr Shargin was suspected to be the person who tampered with the iLeon software, a system used in the exam.
“They solved question papers of suspected candidates through remote access from a selected exam centre in Haryana’s Sonepat,” the bureau said.
“It was found that the accused collected the 10th and 12th mark sheets of candidates along with their login details and postdated cheques. They charged approximately one to two million rupees each upon confirmation of admission.”
India, home to more than 6,000 government-approved engineering institutes, produces the world's largest numbers of engineers.
The stream of engineering and technology draws almost 2.4 million students into government and private institutes every year, according to the Human Resource Development Ministry.
The large number of applicants, expensive private colleges and limited seats in government institutes, lead to cut-throat competition.