How Geo-Tagging Was Used to Ensure Leak-Free NEET Exams 2019

Every year millions of aspirants give this exam to fulfill their dream of joining medical or dental colleges.

Tech News
2 min read
Hindi Female

Every year millions of medical aspirants in the country are subjected to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exams which offer graduate or post-graduate courses in medical or dental colleges in the country.

Unfortunately, most of these students have to face through administrative issues, which results in leaking of exam papers few days or even hours before the paper is to be written.

Well, at least in 2019, the trend seems have to been put in check, making sure that all papers are only accessed by the students eligible to give the NEET exams. How did that happen?

The National Testing Agency (NTA) claims to have made use of geo-tagging as the backbone technology, to make sure the exam papers weren’t tampered with by anyone else. 

“What is geo-tagging?”, might be the first question you’d ask and rightly so. This is a feature that’s most commonly seen on a phone’s camera, or third-party apps, from which you can get the right location of a person or an object in this case. This is how Wikipedia defines geo-tagging:

The process of tagging something ( i.e any objects, infrastructure etc. ) with geographical information like latitude, longitude, distance, place name, accuracy data in the form of geo-spatial metadata ( may be any QR code, RSS feeds, SMS messages) is called as geo-tagging
Wikipedia meaning 

Now you must be wondering how the NEET officials used geo-tagging to protect the papers. As per this report from Times of India, sources from the NTA highlighted how this was done.

The question papers for the NEET 2019 exam were sealed in envelopes and put inside boxes that were attached to devices which were programmed to open only at a specific allotted centre and time.

If the box was opened at any other place other the specified location, the headquarters of the NTA will be alerted of the mishap. 

The report goes on to say that the devices attached to the boxes with exam papers can only be operated via the central system. The HQ even receives photos of opening the boxes at the centre, with a timestamp through a mobile app, the official was quoted saying.

The report also says this is the first time in India, when question papers in sealed envelopes were delivered to the candidates, who were then allowed to give the exams in a leak-free manner.

This is clearly a good use of geo-tagging by the administration, and hopefully other entrance exams can also adhere to a similar system to secure the question papers and more.

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