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No rigging in 2019 NEET UG, system for online exams fool-proof: NTA

New Delhi: The National Testing Agency (NTA), which administers the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (UG) for MBBS and BDS courses, has responded to media reports of a Delhi-based education centre allegedly being involved in the manipulation of NEET(UG) exams, saying that the 2019 exam was impossible to hack through remote desktop technology as it was conducted on pen and paper and not electronically.

The NTA, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, clarified on Monday that any claims of manipulating the 2019 NEET UG exam are thus baseless.

The test administering body said it has been mandated to conduct all examinations online, except for the NEET UG, which is conducted through pen and paper, owing to a request by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Moreover, the NTA went on to say that whatever exams it conducts online, their infrastructure for the exam systems remain uncompromised and have multiple security measures for fair examinations.

Further, the testing agency said all operating systems and connectivity to computers are disabled prior to the exam, making it impossible for any external factor to try and hack the systems. The NTA added that all examination centres have mobile jammers and are monitored through surveillance cameras by experts. The agency also said every computer is monitored at the local server level which captures every log of every machine for every candidate.

"Besides this, a third-party audit is conducted at all the examination centres to check the robustness of system security by cybersecurity experts. Therefore, it is virtually impossible for any malpractice to occur in the exams conducted by NTA," the agency said, also clarifying that it is responsible only for the administration of the NEET UG exam and not others that have been mentioned in the press in connection with this case. However, NTA started administering this exam only from 2019.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had on Saturday arrested six people, including the MD of Delhi-based Pathway Education for allegedly rigging the online entrance test of BITS, Pilani through remote desktop technology.

In the FIR registered by the agency, there were also claims from one of the accused that they had allegedly been involved in manipulating other exams like JEE Advanced and NEET PG, in addition to

NEET UG.

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