NEW DELHI: Leakage of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) data on 15 websites has left the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare red-faced, yet again. Using the data private medical colleges in India and abroad are trying to lure aspiring medics.
Officials in the ministry conceded that they have been apprised of the fact that information available on nearly 15 websites is exhaustive with details such as names of the students, their NEET score and ranking, address, date of birth, mobile number and email ID.
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The charges for allowing access to the full data run in thousands and even lakhs, depending on the buyer’s needs.
“The websites do not reveal the full mobile number of each applicant purportedly for security reasons, but that is a way to make sure that prospective advertisers, marketers or brokers who need the data, pay up,” a source said. “We suspect the data is mostly leaked from states where the counseling is underway at present.”
Another official said though the source of this data isn’t clear, there are several possible ones: the National Testing Agency — the body in charge of the examination, various universities/colleges or the coaching institutes.
Amit Gupta who prepares students for NEET in Kota, Rajasthan, said people desperate to get their wards into medical colleges are even duped using the data. “After paying huge sums to these frauds, families realise they have been conned. The government should therefore take the issue of NEET data leak seriously.”