Herald: Impersonation at NEET a cause for concern
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Impersonation at NEET a cause for concern

09 May 2017 05:02pm IST
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09 May 2017 05:02pm IST

Thousands of Class XII students who appeared for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), and later learnt of the impersonation attempts at the test, must have felt cheated.

Thousands of Class XII students who appeared for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), and later learnt of the impersonation attempts at the test, must have felt cheated. After years of studying for the entrance test, they were up against some unscrupulous students who took the easy way out by sending another person to answer the entrance test to medical courses on their behalf, in the hope that the impersonator would fare better and gain them a seat in a college of their choice.

The first hint that there was something afoot came when a candidate from Kolhapur turned up at the NEET test centre in Goa to find that another person was already seated in his place claiming to be him, with an exam hall ticket in his (student’s) name. Closer inspection led to the discovery that the entrance ticket that the person was holding was fake. Police investigations then found that the student had earlier been approached by some person with the offer to send another to the exam and clear the entrance test in exchange for some money. The real student said he had turned down the offer. A miscommunication among the ‘racketeers’ led to a fake student appearing for the entrance test.

Closer scrutiny of the other entrance tickets of candidates led to another arrest of a person answering in place of a student who had not appeared for the test. Both were arrested by Verna police. Two more arrests were made by Old Goa police of impersonation and all those arrested are from Bihar. In Goa, where 2000 candidates appeared for NEET, at least four candidates were fake, giving rise to concerns that there could be more.

The impersonation attempts at the NEET in the State is a matter of concern and calls for a larger investigation that is not restricted just to Goa but across the country. The details emerging at the moment are still sparse, but what is glaring is that all four of the persons who were arrested in this State are residents of Bihar, and police have determined that the kingpin is from that State. Also, the student who appeared for the exam and found that another was seated in his place, came from Kolhapur in Maharashtra. This, and the fact that Patna police arrested five for attempts to leak the entrance test paper, is clearly an indication that it is a racket that goes across the borders and is well planned.

NEET is the most important entrance examination across India, the successful students gaining admission to the most prestigious medical institutions in the country. This year NEET was held for admission to homeopathy and ayurveda courses also and students are allowed three attempts at the test. Students begin preparing for the exam two, and even three years earlier, focused on their future careers. A racket involving impersonation to guarantee a seat in an institution can be a big setback to the young minds. This impersonation needs to be investigated with all seriousness, collaborating with the police of other states, in this case especially with that of Bihar, to bust the racket and end it.

The impersonation occurred despite some of the strictest measures to curb malpractices at that entrance test. There was a strict dress code and ‘airport-type’ security to check impersonation. Seriousness in investigating the case is necessary as the Goa Common Entrance Test, conducted by the Directorate of Technical Education is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. This test will open up admissions for courses in engineering, and students should be reassured that there will be no impersonation of this exam. 
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