Millions of exam candidates per year will be biometrically verified to take common exams administered by the National Testing Agency (NTA) such as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) to attend certain college courses, Médianama reports.
The outlet saw tender documents from a government agency with equipment requirements for candidate screening, including a handheld facial recognition scanner for 100 candidates. Live video surveillance and a search service are also up for tender.
The screening is intended to detect identity theft and would require iris and fingerprint verification as well as facial recognition.
The exams concerned are for entering certain types of university courses or for working in certain higher education roles. This could involve as many as five million candidates heading to testing centers for computerized exams. Other types of exams have recently announced their intention to perform biometric verification, further increasing the number of applicants.
The report indicates a push by the Indian government to introduce facial recognition in its departments and institutions due to Covid-19. It has also been applied in Covid-19 vaccination centers without legal order.
Activists point to the lack of laws in India to regulate the use of personal data. Lawyers insist that consent must be obtained from applicants.
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