What is it?
The Vyapam scam was a scandal regarding the entrance examination, admission, and recruitment scam. The Indian state of Madhya Pradesh discovered it back in 2013, and it involved people on important and high positions like politicians, senior and junior officials, and businessmen. These scammers systematically employed imposters to write papers and to manipulate the seating arrangements in the exam halls. They also supplied forged answer sheets and bribed the officials.
This wide range of fraud involved 13 different exams, which Vyapam conducted. They were meant to select medical students and state government employees, including job positions of food inspectors, transport constables, school teachers, police personnel, dairy supply officers, and forest guards. All of the final results were rigged according to the wishes of the people behind the scam. Around 3.2 million students took these exams each year, and many were paid to act as proxies for students undeserving of the exams. The seating arrangements were changed in such a way that a paid smarter student was sitting between two less able students, who would copy answers from them.
The Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, or MPPEB for short, is also known in Hindi by the acronym “Vyapam”, which means Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal. This is a self-financed and autonomous body that the state government incorporated, the same government that is responsible for several entrance tests. These exams were for recruitment in government and educational institutes jobs.
The scam itself involved undeserving candidates who bribed politicians and MPPEB officials through people acting as mediators, in exchange for higher scores. Shockingly, between 23 and 40 ‘unnatural’ deaths of individuals who were involved took place. Some unofficial reports even claim that more than a 100 deaths occurred, including the son of the MP Governor. There were also staged road accidents that featured dead bodies.
First cases of this sort have been reported ever since the 1990s, while the first FIR came in 2000. However, it was not until 2009 that such cases were thought to be a part of a countrywide organization. When numerous major complaints surfaced in 2009, the state government decided to establish a committee in order to investigate this strange matter. They issued a report in 2011, after which the police arrested over a hundred people. However, none have been convicted and most either died under suspicious consequences or were released after bail was paid.
The true scale of this terrible scam became obvious two years later in 2013 when Indore police arrested 20 people who impersonated candidates for a pre-medical test in 2009. The interrogation of these scammers led to the arrest of Jagdish Sagar, who was the leader of an organized racket group involved in the scam. After this, the state government formed a Special Task Force on 26 August 2013. The following interrogations and arrests uncovered the deep involvements of multiple politicians, bureaucrats, MPPEB officials, racket leaders, middlemen, student candidates, and their parents. By June of 2015, more than 2000 people who were somehow involved in the scam had been arrested and questioned. The arrests included the ex-education minister Laxmikant Sharma and more than a hundred other politicians. The following July, the Supreme Court of India transferred this important case to the top investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation. In 2015, the Wikipedia page covering the Vyapam scam was the 19th most viewed page on Wikipedia in the world.
Many of the senior personnel like Justice Bhushan, the head of the Special Investigative team, and Indian doctors including Anand Rai, believe the Vyapam scam started in the 1990s when they took their medical exams. They also think it is just the beginning, and that other Indian states have had similar scams as well.
On February 13, 2017, the Supreme Court of India proclaimed judgment on 83 pages. They also canceled and revoked the degrees of 634 doctors.