The NTA's tender has made facial recognition mandatory at exam centers and has invited bids to provide handheld facial recognition scanners for every 100 candidates. A few days ago, MediaNama reported on how the National Testing Agency, an Indian government agency tasked with conducting entrance examinations for higher education, was planning to introduce facial recognition technology for verification of those sitting for the online versions of these exams. But that might not be all. The NTA is now proposing a more expansive biometric verification module that will cover candidates giving the exams offline as well. In its tender (a copy of which MediaNama has seen), the NTA proposes the installation of CCTV cameras in 4,000 examination centres coupled with compulsory biometric verification such as iris and fingerprint scans as well as facial scans. Whereas, in a separate proposal by the NTA, CCTV surveillance measures for online or computer-based tests (CBT) were restricted to just 600 centres. These proposals translate to a 566% increase in the number of examination centers that are going to be under CCTV surveillance and biometric verification. Ancillary security services are to be provided for approximately 4000 examination centers spread all over India. The main aim for having the service in each of the exam rooms of these examination centers is to curb malpractices, unfair means in the examinations so as to ensure smooth conduct of examinations — National Testing Agency tender Why it matters? Effectively, what it means is that now, more candidates will be subjected to…
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