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

To prevent the leakage of question papers of two examinations for around 30,000 third and fourth grade posts, the government suspended mobile internet services for around four hours each in the main locations of 25 districts of Assam.

The Assam government asked the deputy commissioners to conduct the examinations following the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) prepared to prevent unethical means.

An order issued by the state’s home and political department invoked section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, with the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Service (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rule, 2017, to suspend mobile internet services from 10 am to 12 pm and from 2pm to 4 pm on August 21 and 28. However, broadband-based services would remain functional through the period, it said.

Around 14 lakh candidates are taking the examinations to be held on August 21, August 28 and September 11. Tight security arrangements have been made at every examination centre and Section 144 has been imposed.

As part of the rules, candidates and the invigilators were barred from carrying mobile phones or any other electronic gadgets into the examination centres. The centre in-charge has been directed to videograph the examination procedure.

According to the order, signed by Niraj Verma, principal secretary (home and political department), the government was taking this step because on earlier occasions, “unscrupulous elements resorted to unfair means using different mobile applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube, etc, which are based on internet connectivity.”

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