Signal jammers will be installed in exam halls across the country, including Delhi, to prevent college and university students from cheating using cellphones and other such devices.
In a letter to all the 46 central universities, the University Grants Commission has said examination-conducting bodies have been allowed low-powered jammers to block radiofrequency devices.
With advances in technology, cheats too have gone high-tech, using cellphones, wireless earpieces and blue-tooth devices to get answers. Many even wear transmitters to examination centres.
For the first time, jammers were used in 2015 during tests for admissions to country’s top medical and engineering colleges.
The universities, which include Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia, have been asked to get jammers in place ahead of this examination season that kicks off late March.
Responding to the cabinet secretariat’s concerns that “unauthorised manufacturers” were providing the equipment, the higher education regulator has asked all the central universities to only deal with authorised vendors.
Under the present policy, jammers can be acquired from Electronics Corporation of India Limited and Bharat Electronics Limited. The cabinet secretariat had also suggested that the examination calendar and venues be shared with the two vendors.
The jammers will be deployed on rental basis. The vendors and the universities would have to work out the financial aspect. It is not clear if funds would come from the government.
“Inviting open tender from unauthorised manufacturers is a violation of the policy of government of India,” the letter written by UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu said.
Approval of secretary (security), cabinet secretariat was a must for deployment and procurement of jammers.
The cabinet secretariat had in January written to UGC that “proliferation of jammers is a serious security concern and inviting open tenders for procurement… from unauthorised sources is a violation of the policy”.