Hyderabad, May 30
In a new twist to the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) exam paper leak case, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has found that one of the accused allegedly used ChatGPT and electronic devices to share answers with the candidates appearing in at least two exams conducted for recruitment in government departments.
The investigation by SIT has revealed that Poola Ramesh, a Divisional Engineer with Telangana State Northern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSNPDCL) allegedly sold question papers related to the exam for the Assistant Engineer (Civil) and also used the latest AI tool and electronic devices to help some candidates writing Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) and Divisional Accounts Officer (DAO) exams.
Ramesh allegedly shared the answers through electronic devices with at least seven candidates present in the exam hall. This is the first time in the sensational case that the use of ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer) and electronic devices has come to light, sources said.
The SIT on Monday arrested Prashanth, Naresh, Mahesh and Srinivas who allegedly wrote the exam with the help of electronic devices.
The investigating officials are now trying to find out how the candidates managed to enter the exam hall with electronic devices without being detected at the entrance. They were looking for an examiner who helped them in entering the exam hall with the devices — Bluetooth micro earpieces. The examiner is also suspected to have taken photos of question papers and sent them to Ramesh on WhatsApp 10 minutes after the exam started.
With the arrests made on Monday, the total number of people arrested in the case has gone up to 49.
Ramesh had received the leaked question paper of Assistant Engineer (Civil) exam from another accused Poola Ravi Kishore, a junior assistant in the electricity department. Ramesh further sold the leaked question paper to about 25 candidates for Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh each. The exam was held on March 5.
For AEE and DAO exams held earlier on January 22 and February 26, Ramesh used the latest AI technology and microelectronic devices to help the aspirants.
After receiving the question paper on his mobile from the exam centre through an examiner, he with the help of four others used ChatGPT to get correct answers and relayed the same to candidates present in the exam hall using Bluetooth earbuds.
Ramesh allegedly had a deal with each candidate for Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.
The TSPSC exam paper leak case is turning out to be more intricate than initially thought as the SIT is making new findings.
The TSPSC scam came to light on March 13 following a complaint by a youth. The police initially arrested nine accused, including Praveen Kumar, who worked as an assistant section officer at TSPSC and Rajashekar Reddy, a network admin at TSPSC. They had allegedly stolen question papers of some exams from a computer in a confidential section of the Commission and sold it to other accused.
Subsequently, the SIT arrested 15 accused from Mahabubnagar district alone. The investigators later found that the case has links with Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Nagarkurnool, Khammam and Nalgonda districts.
The exam paper leak case created a sensation in Telangana as opposition parties Congress and BJP blamed the BRS government for the leak that affected lakhs of unemployed in the state. The opposition is also demanding a probe by a sitting judge of the High Court or by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The SIT has also examined TSPSC chairman Janardhan Reddy, secretary Anita Ramchandran and member B. Linga Reddy.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also probing money laundering charges in the case. It also recorded the statements of top TSPSC officials.