Railways pulling out all the stops to keep its exam cheating-free

Cases of cheating during railway exams using Bluetooth and earpieces with inbuilt SIM cards since 2014 have prompted the tough measures

india Updated: Aug 21, 2018 10:59 IST
Commuters walking on the track between Sion to Matunga.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)

From providing equipment to detect Bluetooth (wireless) devices at examination centres to checking Google trends to know whether people are searching for cheating tips, authorities are leaving nothing to chance in making the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) exam cheating free.

Cases of cheating during railway exams using Bluetooth and earpieces with inbuilt SIM cards since 2014 have prompted the tough measures. Such cases have been reported during state board exams too. Last year, a candidate was held for cheating using Bluetooth device while taking the civil services exam.

Bluetooth technology can be used for exchanging data within shorter ranges from fixed devices like personal computers and mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets.

The phased computer-based RRB exam, which is believed to be the world’s biggest such exercise, to hire 60,000 automotive loco pilots (train drivers) started on August 9 and will continue until August 31.

The Group D exams for recruiting track maintainers, so-called gangmen, switchmen, helpers, porters etc are likely to start by mid-September and will go on for at least 45 days. The gangmen are called so as they work in groups for maintenance work.

Over 47 lakh people have applied for 60,000 automotive loco pilot positions. As many as 1.89 crore applicants are competing for 62,907 Group D positions. The RRB is trying hard to meet the deadline for completing the hiring process by March 2019 and put in place anti-cheating measures at exam centers across the country.

“We have a command centre in Delhi from where all 439 exam centers in 166 cities are being monitored. They are being monitored at every step of the process: Pre-exam, during the exam and post-exam phases,’’ said a railway official on condition of anonymity.

“Since Bluetooth is the most common mode of cheating, we have asked duty staff to check if there are any active Bluetooth (devices) in the areas around the exam centers. For this, at some places, they were given devices while at some places they are asked to check it through their phones.”

The official did not share the number of Bluetooth devices detected, saying they would not do so until the exam process is on.

“Another way is to check Google trends and see if people are searching for methods of cheating ahead of exam dates. If yes, then vigil in the cities from where these searches are being done will be increased. Question papers are also leaked. We are requesting applicants to not pay money if someone is selling papers as they can be fake,” said another officer, referring to the leak of Central Board of School Education’s class 10th mathematics and class 12 economics papers in March.

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 07:52 IST