The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Tuesday denied any breach of personal data of the 2018 National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) candidates. The denial came hours after Congress President Rahul Gandhi wrote to CBSE chairperson Anita Karwal demanding a probe into the alleged breach.

The CBSE called reports of the breach a “handiwork of certain unscrupulous persons with the objective of duping the public.”

It said the NEET data was maintained in encrypted format with strict security measures with the government ’s science and technology organisation, National Informatics Centre (NIC).

“Even in the printout of the confirmation page downloaded by the candidates, the vital details such as identification documents, mobile and email id are in the encrypted format,” the CBSE said in the statement.

“Moreover, the results are declared by the CBSE through NIC and do not contain mobile number, email Id and other identification details of the candidates.” The communication, if any, is sent through registered SMS or email of the candidates, it said.

The statement said post result declaration, the data of all 13,26,725 NEET-UG 2018 candidates was given to directorate general health service, Union health and family welfare ministry. It added it was done “for providing the same to the states and other counselling authorities for the purpose of counselling of 85% seats under their jurisdiction. This data is also shared with the concerned states in a highly secured format and is password protected too.”

CBSE has also requested the NIC to take appropriate cognizance.

Rahul Gandhi called for putting in place additional safeguards to prevent such a breach in his letter to Karwal.

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