Bengaluru: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has instructed vice-chancellors of all higher educational institutions across the country to install mobile phone jammers at examination centres to curb malpractices.
UGC Secretary Prof. Rajnish Jain issued a circular on October 16 directing all affiliated colleges and institutes to install the jammers and to take measures to stop malpractices near exam centers.
He said VCs should install the jammers after studying the Union government’s ‘Jammer Policy’ guidelines, which can be accessed on cabinet secretariat website www.cabsec.nic.in. Also, they should take permission from the Secretary (Security) before installing the jammers, as required by the rules, the circular stated.
The jammer should not be within 100 metres of the Base Transceiver Station (BTS), also known as the mobile phone tower, he said.
VCs should check the performance of jammers at each examination centre before exams start as their effectiveness depends on factors like power output, signal strength of BTS at a given time, distance from BTS, sensitivity of the receiver, terrain, topography and line of sight etc.
The Registrar of Visvesaraya Technological University (VTU), Belagavi, Prof A.S. Despande, said that mobile phones are already banned at examination halls of all higher institutions, but jammers will further help deter malpractices and discourage students from cheating.
“The idea is good, but we need to study the advantages and disadvantages to students and staff. But it will definitely help curb malpractices,” he said
“Flying squads, measures to stop leaking of question papers and restriction on mobile phones at examination halls have already reduced cheating cases. But jammers will further strengthen exam security,” said Mr Govindaraj, principal, Government First Grade College at Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar district.
“Jammers will not affect exams conducted online and release of question papers online for various exams. All Universities have their own Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) which are connected to highly secured networks, and there is no chance of question paper leakage and other malpractices,” said Prof Deshpande....