A Whatsapp group was the unexpected platform where signs of the NIOS scam first came to light. As per Indian Express report, the nationwide scam, where irregularities in class 10th and class 12th results of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) came to surface way before the Ministry of HRD approached the CBI for a probe. Members of a newly formed group, including principals of Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and some officials of the Regional Centre of NIOS, Bhopal, had raised questions about unusually low attendance figures at some examination centres, interpreting these differently before and after the results.
The NIOS exams were held in March-April and the results were announced on May 31 and June 1. Before the results, most members of the group interpreted the low attendance as a signal that the possibility of strict vigilance that prevented students using illegal means. However, after the results, the members were surprised to see that everyone at Sagod centre had passed the examination. Interestingly, all candidates were declared passed also from Umaria and Ratlam centres, although only three of 178 candidates and 19 of 693, respectively, had appeared.
As per IE sources, the scam was not possible without the involvement of Delhi-based NIOS officials, officials in Guwahati centre and at least one staff member at the Bhopal-based regional centre. The sources added that the middlemen who took a token of money from students took care of online admission procedure to ensure the candidates were not needed to appear in the exam.
As per the NIOS system, enrolled students in accredited institutes (AIs) called study centres in their districts and took the examination at centres recommended by the district education officer. The sources alleged that most students who did not take the exam were from outside MP. Meanwhile, the NIOS has now made Aadhaar number compulsory for admission, added the IE report.