A number of students and their parents were investigated for possible impersonation fraud in the NEET. These students were possibly impersonated in the exam. It is believed that there is a large racket which operates with the help of middlemen to hire a medical student to write the test for students, for a hefty consideration.

Activities involved in scam
The scam starts from submitting photos of the impersonator in the NEET application forms, to actually appearing for the examinations and single-window counselling for admissions, to submitting the application with the original student’s photo at the allotted college.

Further probe cast a shadow on the admission of more students, including in private medical colleges.

Present status of investigation
Central Bureau of investigation and Criminal investigation departments of states are investigating the scam. So far, the investigations have revealed a multi-State operation. While the larger picture is not yet clear, it is evident that fraud has been committed, and serious lapses in procedures and processes were exploited by students eager to score a medical seat by hook or by crook.

What should be done?
Given that NEET was intended to standardise testing for admission into medical colleges and ensure a certain minimum quality, such lapses erode its cerdibility. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Testing Agency, which conducts the examination, must exhibit zero tolerance to such malafide attempts. Both these agencies must immediately identify lacunae in the existing system and ensure that a foolproof testing methodology is in place. Using biometrics to identify students taking NEET has been suggested.

Source: The Hindu