In India, mobile internet temporarily suspended to deter cheating in government recruitment exam

Mobile internet connectivity in 24 out of 35 districts in Assam will be temporarily disabled to prevent cheating in a recruitment exam for government jobs. — AFP photo

By Sylvia Looi

Tuesday, August 23, 2022 1:24 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, August 23 – Mobile internet connectivity in 24 out of 35 districts of an Indian state will be suspended for four hours over three days to prevent cheating in a recruitment exam for government jobs.

The disruptions will be in effect from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on August 21, 28 and September 11, although authorities have yet to make a final decision on September 11 as only a small number of candidates would take the exam, Indian Express reported.

The exams are held to fill 30,000 Grade III and Grade IV positions in the Government of Assam for which over 140,000 applicants are vying.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had previously been reported as describing the recruitment exams as the “most important” of its kind for grade III and IV posts.

“It’s not just an exam. If we can induct 30,000 people entirely on merit, then the face of government will change,” he said, apologizing to the public for the inconvenience.

“We don’t want to take any risks…even if someone leaks the quiz on WhatsApp during the exam, it will be chaos,” Sarma said.

In an order, the government said it was taking this action because on other occasions unscrupulous elements had resorted to unfair means using different mobile applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube.

“The government of Assam does not want any disruption to the review process which could have the potential to create doubt about the fairness of the recruitment process,” the order said.

He added that the government had looked into the matter and had come to the conclusion that in the interests of free, fair and transparent recruitment examinations, it was prudent and timely to close all possible gaps, including the temporary deactivation of mobile Internet connectivity during exam hours on the days set for the holding of these written tests.

A source told the portal that the decision was made given the state’s history of irregularities in recruitment exams.

“The original plan was to limit services to only around exam centers, but that didn’t work.”

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