Biometric verification system crashes

Over 1,000 candidates from across the State who took the MBBS entrance examination of the Centrally-sponsored Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) held at seven centres in Thiruvananthapuram spent several hours on the edge on Sunday after a biometric verification system for candidates crashed.

The State capital, the only centre for the examination in the State, had over 5,000 candidates who took the test in the seven centres. Of these, the centres at the Karthika Tirunal Government Vocational and Higher Secondary School, Manacaud, and at the John Cox Memorial CSI Institute of Technology, Kannammoola, witnessed tense moments after the examination when the candidates came out around 12.30 p.m. and said the biometric fingerprint and photo capture verifications, marked as mandatory on the hall-ticket, were not done.

There were over 800 candidates at the Manacaud centre, of which the verification was done reportedly only for a few, after which the private agency to which the process was outsourced said the system had crashed. Parents pointed out that the hall ticket had mentioned that they should be present at the venue at 9 a.m. for the biometric verification. It was printed on the hall ticket that the photo captures were mandatory for the counselling, they said.

“Many of us have come from as far as Kasaragod and Kozhikode. How can we return with just an assurance in the form of a private agency’s seal on the hall ticket saying the verification is not required?” they asked the Fort police who reached the centre after the situation got tense.

The parents dispersed at 3 p.m., after the police got in touch with a JIPMER observer who assured them that the biometric test was only an additional precaution and that its absence would not affect their ward’s chances. The JIPMER headquarters had been informed, after which it was conveyed that those who could not get the biometric verification done would not be disqualified.