The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are probing whether administrators or faculty from among them within the premier engineering schools facilitated mass cheating in the IIT Joint Entrance Examination last month at a Bathinda test centre.
The Joint Admission Board of the IITs has set up a two- member panel to investigate the role of IIT representatives assigned to oversee the conduct of the examination at the centre.
But preliminary findings suggest that the cheating may not only be limited to the Bathinda centre, the Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology (GZSIET).
An initial three-member probe by an IIT Roorkee team has established that invigilators and other officials at the GZSIET helped select students in one examination hall cheat, and gave them extra time to answer the question papers.
But the decision by the JAB — the highest admissions related body of the IITs — to set up the new two-member probe committee comes after the initial complainant raised fresh concerns.
The complainant, Vipin Gupta, who first raised the alarm over cheating at the Bathinda centre, has in a letter to the JAB chairman — IIT Kanpur director Sanjay Dhande questioned how all the cheating beneficiaries were conveniently seated in the same room.
The seating arrangement is based on roll numbers assigned by the IITs, and any rigging of the seating raises questions of larger complicity of senior IIT administrators.
Gupta has also alleged that the daughter of the IIT Roorkee observer at the centre studies at the GZSIET.
He has also alleged that the girl identified as one of the beneficiaries of the cheating is the daughter of a staffer at the GZSIET, who may have been in a position to influence the IIT observer since his daughter allegedly studied there.
The IITs have already decided to temporarily withhold the results of all 30 students who appeared for the IIT-JEE in that room.