It’s a testing period as Assam suspends mobile internet during exams in 25 districts

To prevent the leakage of two exam questionnaires for about 30,000 third- and fourth-year positions, the government suspended mobile internet services for about four hours each at key sites in 25 districts of Assam.

The Government of Assam has instructed the Deputy Commissioners to conduct the examinations in accordance with the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) prepared to prevent unethical means.

An order issued by the State Headquarters and Political Department invoked Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 with the rule of temporary suspension of telecommunication service (public emergency or public safety) , 2017, to suspend mobile Internet services from 10 a.m. at 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on August 21 and 28. However, broadband services will remain functional throughout the period, he said.

About 14 lakh candidates are taking the exams which will be held on August 21, August 28 and September 11. Strict security measures were taken at each exam center and Section 144 was imposed.

As part of the rules, candidates and proctors were prohibited from carrying cellphones or any other electronic gadgets into test centers. The responsible center was instructed to film the examination procedure.

According to the order, signed by Niraj Verma, Principal Secretary (Interior and Political Department), the government was taking this action because on other occasions, “unscrupulous elements have resorted to unfair means using different mobile applications such such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube etc which are based on internet connectivity.”

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