As per a viral claim making the rounds on social media, Rituraj Chaudhary, a student living in Bihar’s Begusarai purportedly hacked Google for 51 seconds, after which the tech giant sent him a Rs 3.66 crore job offer. It has also been claimed that Rituraj, a second-year student at IIT Manipur, did not have a passport. Google reached out to the Indian government and got a passport made for him in two hours and also arranged for a private jet for his travel to the United States.
Reality show ‘Bigg Boss 12’ contestant and singer Deepak Thakur promoted the claim in a long Facebook post, which has since been deleted.
Writers Communty Director Ankit Dev Arpan also amplified the claim on Facebook, writing, “One Bihari shook up Google overnight, and here people say that Biharis haven’t achieved anything beyond being famous for litti chokha.”
Twitter handle हम लोग We The People also shared the viral claim. A Facebook page called Bhumihar wrote a similar post which garnered over 9,000 likes and was shared by more than 1,000 users at the time of writing.
Alt News contacted Rituraj for more information. He revealed that he had reported a bug on Google’s Bug Hunters website, for which he got an acknowledgement mail. Neither did he hack Google nor has he been offered a joining letter from the company. The additional details about him getting a passport in two hours and going to the US by private jet are also completely fabricated.
He also clarified that he is not a student of IIT Manipur, but attends IIIT in the same state. In fact, there is no IIT in Manipur.
Alt News also found Riruraj’s name in the ‘Honorable mentions’ on Google’s Bug Hunters website as shown below.
He had submitted his first report on January 25.
In an interview with the News18 Bihar Jharkhand news channel, he revealed that while he was aspiring for IIT but could not get admission hence, enrolled in IIIT Manipur.
IIIT Manipur is a technical institute funded by the Manipur government under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. To get admission in both IIT and IIIT, applicants must clear the IIT-JEE exam. Whether they can be admitted to IIT or IIIT is determined based on their rank in the qualifying exam. Those with the highest rank are eligible for admission in IITs and the students who score lesser get admitted to NITs and IIITs. Rituraj also told us the basic difference between IITs and IIITs was that the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) offer B.Tech, M.Tech, Dual Degree, and PhD programs in several specialisations whereas IIIT (Indian Institute of Information Technology) focuses on providing technical education in information technology and communication studies.
Outlets like ABP News, Zee Bihar Jharkhand, News24, News18 Bihar Jharkhand, ETV Bharat Bihar all reported that Rituraj was a student of IIT Manipur. TV9 Bharatvarsh, DNA, ABP News, NDTV, News9, BGR, Bihar Express, Kalinga TV among others also claimed that he was enrolled in IIT Manipur.
In its fact-check report, DNA identified Rituraj as a student of IIT Manipur.
To sum it up, Alt News can confirm that the viral claim about Rituraj Chaudhary hacking Google is fake. Neither did he receive any job offer from the company. The claim about him being sent a passport in two hours and a private jet to travel to the United States is also false. The media also misreported that he was a student of IIT Manipur. Rituraj is a second-year undergraduate pursuing a B.Tech in Computer Science Engineering at IIIT Manipur.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people contribute towards the same. Please consider donating in support of this endeavour to fight misinformation and disinformation.
To make an instant donation, click on the "Donate Now" button above. For information regarding donation via Bank Transfer/Cheque/DD, click here.