jee main 2021: AI helps track 56 JEE candidates who are potential impersonators

NEW DELHI: Employing AI algorithms on face comparison to detect impersonation, the National Testing Agency (NTA) has identified 56 candidates from the February cycle of JEE (Main) 2021, whose images match with some of the 20,000 top-ranked candidates of the exams in 2019 and 2020 despite differences in other credentials.

The agency has alerted the test centres and images as well as identification documents of these candidates during entry for the exams are being collected.

According to ministry of education (MoE) sources, details of these candidates would be shared with the institutions so that they are not granted admission if impersonation is proved.

The first of the four cycles of JEE (Main) 2021 commenced on February 23. The first day was for architecture and planning papers, while Wednesday was the first day of engineering papers. A total of 6.6 lakh candidates have registered for this cycle.

WhatsApp Image 2021-02-25 at 8.20.27 AM.

Cases of alleged impersonation have been found in JEE-Main and NEET (UG) earlier and as recent as October, 2020.

“This is the third year NTA is conducting the computer-based JEE (Main). We have been hearing that some of previous years’ toppers would impersonate, score high and help secure a seat for someone else. Therefore, NTA decided to improve the system and alert institutions of such fraud. So it decided to monitor candidates,” said a senior ministry official.

The official said that after registration, NTA matched the images of candidates with those of previous years’ toppers. “There may be repeat candidates but their details will remain the same.

However, based on AI algorithms, we found that there are 56 such candidates whose image matches with someone from the top 20,000 of either 2019 or 2020 exams, but their credentials are different,” said the official.

As per the details available with the ministry, barring the images, other details such as the candidate’s name, date of birth or father’s name don’t match with the previous years’ high scorers.

Thereafter, NTA conducted a manual verification before deciding to monitor these candidates. According to NTA sources, a day ahead of the exams, it alerted the centre officials where these 56 candidates are scheduled to take the test. The centres were asked to take the live images and identification documents at the time of entry. At the end of the exam these are to be passed on to the NTA headquarters for further investigation.

According to ministry officials, during the time of admission institutions can verify with NTA. “Post declaration of the results in May, NTA is likely to pass on these cases to the institutions for verification during the admissions. If the images in the registration form, admit card, the image during the entry doesn’t match with the person coming for admission necessary action can be initiated.”

For the first time, JEE Main for admission to undergraduate programmes in NITs, IIITs and other centrally-funded technical institutions and engineering colleges of participating states is being conducted four times this year and in 13 languages. The other three exam cycles will be conducted in March, April and May and the final merit list will be announced in May, taking into account the best of the scores.

Times View

There’s no running away from technology. There’s also no running away from those who will try to misuse it. This is a good example underlining how artificial intelligence can be a handy tool to nab abusers. More ministries can use it to their benefit.

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