At a time when they should be busy preparing for the Class 10 exams, two students are busy scurrying through electronics shops in Sector 22. They are wearing uniforms belonging to a private school in Sector 51, making them easily identifiable among the crowd.
What they are looking for is a pair of Bluetooth earbuds and microphone, seemingly harmless devices, until they question the shopkeeper, without any hesitation: “Will this device work for three hours? We have maths and science exams, and want a device with nice battery backup.”
“The examiner will never come to know about the Bluetooth device attached into my ear under the turban. Rather, I will finish my exam in two hours,” says one of them.
The shopkeeper, eventually, refuses to sell the device to the students, suggesting to them another shop.
Ready to pay any amount, many students turn up at the market during exam days, says the shopkeeper. “Students have various innovative ideas for cheating. A few days back, a student wanted us to weave a microphone into his vest, but I refused. Such vests are prepared in Delhi,” he says.
While the student plugs the earbud in the ear, the microphone is attached to the vest. These vests are available for Rs 600-Rs1,000, and the Bluetooth device costs Rs 300-Rs 600, says the shopkeeper. Students use these to communicate outside the examination hall.
TACKLING THE MENACE
It’s clear, with students resorting to the use of technology to score big in the exams, invigilators too will need ‘smart’ ways to catch them – the traditional frisking won’t do.
HS Mamik, president of the Independent Schools Association (ISA), Chandigarh, says with such a trend emerging, the only way left for schools is to install jammers during the examinations.
“Schoolchildren resorting to such means to cheat during the board exams is a shocking development. Strict legal action is needed against those who in order to earn some quick bucks are helping these kids tread the wrong path,” says Arvind Goyal, a local academician.
In fact, 2015 the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) had to be re-conducted after it was found that some candidates used electronic devices to cheat during the entrance exam, says Goyal.
“It’s very unfortunate to see kids resorting to such methods to clear their school exams. So far, numerous competitive and recruitment exams have come under the scanner, but the news of schoolchildren using unfair means is really sad. We will try to find these shops and take necessary action,” said a senior police official.
When a student sitting inside the examination centre receives a call at his/her phone, the Bluetooth attached inside the ear or with vest gets the signal.
With just pressing a button on the device, call can be received directly through the Bluetooth. Students keep their phones in a bag outside the centre within the range for the device to catch the signal.