A 20-year-old Cornell University student hacked into the ICSE, ISC results on May 17, the day they were announced, and has claimed to have exposed how the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations tinkered with the marks of its two lakh students by inflating scores to ‘improve’ overall performance.
Debargho Das, a student of computer science at the Ivy League college, is currently interning with Google USA. He passed his ISC exam from La Martiniere for Boys, Kolkata, in 2011. He reportedly hacked into the council’s website on the request of some juniors of his alma mater to help them access the results before they were out.
“He downloaded the results of ICSE, ISC schools across India. He also ran analytics on the data and compiled graphs to show overall performance of students. While he was doing this purely to pass his time, he was shocked to realise that the data revealed that the council had inflated marks and standardised them,” said a former classmate who is currently studying in St Xavier’s Mumbai.
Asked if hacking the council’s website was unethical, Das’ friend, who didn’t want to be identified, said, “Both Debargho and I agree it is ethically wrong. But how can the council have such poor security for its server? We have mathematical calculations of the entire original results data to show how the council has been tampering with the marks of students at a time when students are denied admission in top colleges for a fraction of marks. The council has to answer its students.”
Das reportedly also hacked into the CBSE class 12 results, but is yet to analyse the data.
The council’s chief executive and secretary Jerry Arathoon could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.