With exam season in full swing across the country, many centers have to comply with Covid protocols that have been mandated by the government. While many candidates fear catching Covid when handing in their papers, despite the measures, some believe the lack of sanitation has caused them to be affected by other ailments.
A candidate from Bhopal named Aditya, who recently spoke to the Free Press Journal, said he suspected his conjunctivitis infection was caused by the Bhopal digital ion zone’s Iris scanner, as it was being used by several candidates with half of their face touching the device. and hasn’t been sanitized each time someone has used it.
“My eyes have turned red and swollen due to the infection and as I haven’t had any public interaction for the past few weeks other than attending the exam, there’s no way I caught it. elsewhere. No one around me at the center got infected with the viral infection,” claimed Aditya, who took his IBPS probationary officer exam at the center and also alleged that Covid protocols such as social distancing and mandatory masks had not been followed.
“Although a declaration form signed by us required anyone with a cough or fever not to appear for the exams, I saw many candidates coughing and the authorities took no particular action on this” , added the native of Bhopal who did not file a case. a complaint to the center because he believed that the authorities had enough problems with the management of the crowd on the spot.
Pallavi, another candidate who took her exam at the same center, said she saw candidates removing their masks and coughing. She claimed that “the iris scanner was unhygienic and no one cleaned it after one candidate after another had used it”.
The iris scanner, which is used to take a picture of a person’s iris using visible and near-infrared light, is a form of biometric technology similar to facial recognition and fingerprints. The use of such scanners is still widespread in various examination centers despite the fact that a person must have close contact with the device in which his face from eyebrows to chin is pressed against it and thus gives rise to risks of catching Covid or other infections due to it being operated by multiple people.
Applicants from other centers also testified that they had not witnessed the Iris scanners being cleaned after single person use, but had not experienced any other issues with Covid protocols. “There was some gap between us and the device, but it wasn’t cleaned every time someone used it, which is understandable as there were a lot of candidates coming in for the exam and it didn’t there wasn’t enough time for the authorities to do that,” Sudarshan said. Sase, a candidate from Mumbai, who wrote his article from Pune. While Niyati Shah, a candidate from Gujarat, said Iris scanner was used while entering and exiting the center.
Other candidates like Kedar Borkar said that although the scanner is in place, the thumbprint was also a form of biometric identification employed by the authorities and expressed surprise at the claim that the scanners do not weren’t sanitized every time someone used it in other centers because that’s something it’s needed to properly register their iris photo when an individual walks in front of the device.
The Free Press Journal spoke to the Superintendent of Examinations of the Bhopal Ionic Digital Zone who headed the IBPS PO Hands, who refuted any claims of lack of Covid protocols and disinfection issues. “Several observers, including 16 officials from various PSBs, were overseeing the exams, so there is no chance that Covid protocols were not being followed as everyone was wearing masks and sanitizers were available. We already have security cameras. CCTV at the center that are seen by IBPS officials in real time, so there is no way to compromise on anything that puts everyone at risk,” said the superintendent, who also said that the Iris scanners were cleaned after each use of one or two candidates and that the latter also had the possibility of registering the thumb. responsible for Bhopal.
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Posted: Friday, January 28, 2022, 4:48 PM IST