The Supreme Court ordered cancellation of this year’s All India Pre-medical and Pre-Dental Entrance Test (AIPMT) because of cheating. What is the guarantee that the fresh examination will be free from cheating? Examinees earlier cheated with chits hidden in socks. The modes have changed. AIPMT examinees had bluetooth devices and SIM cards stitched into their garments. They sat in the examination halls while someone else, in a distant part of the country, read out the answers to them in return of as much as Rs 15-20 lakh. Examinees also used devices such as micro earphones, button-hole cameras and wireless ear plugs to transmit the question paper to people outside. The answers were transmitted back to students via the same devices. The HRD ministry and teacher-invigilators are just at a loss how to fight hi-tech cheating. Yet they have to put in place strict vigilance; else the competitive tests would become a farce. Over 6.5 lakh students appeared for AIPMT test in 2015 for just around 3,000 seats in government colleges. How will we know only the best 3,000 examinees cleared the test unless we stop cheating? The government must introduce close screening of examinees before they are allowed entry into the examination hall. Using jammers at some centres failed to work as the cheats had hidden gadgets under their garments. The government must seek the help of better technologies to frustrate the cheats. Cheating could be reduced also by increasing the number of seats. However, that would be a long-term solution. Here and now, hi-tech gadgets must be detected and kept out of examination halls.
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