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Indian state disables mobile internet for 12 hours to stop cheating in exam

Mobile internet services have been snapped in parts of the Indian state of Rajasthan for 12 hours on Sunday as the state holds important exams to select teachers for government schools. The move is to prevent cheating, officials said.

The highly competitive Rajasthan Eligibility Examination for Teachers or REET will see some 16 lakh candidates for 31,000 vacancies in government schools.

The district collectors in Ajmer, Dausa, Alwar, Jaipur and Jhunjhunu where internet connectivity will be affected can decide if they want to extend or shorten the blackout period. Officials in more districts have been given a free hand to take a call on snapping mobile internet, if needed.

The state government announced free travel for REET candidates in both state roadways and private buses. The North Western Railway is operating 26 special trains covering almost all important stations to help candidates reach their exam destinations and back home.

The test is being conducted by the Ajmer-based Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education at 3,993 exam centres.

“All preparations for the exam have been completed and we will ensure there is no use of unfair means,” the board’s chairman DP Jaroli said.

Earlier on Friday, the Rajasthan Police arrested four members of a gang with ₹5.60 lakh in cash (approximately $7,500) for an alleged bid to make dummy candidates appear for REET 2021.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who reviewed the preparations for the aforesaid exam, also issued a warning for state government personnel against helping candidates cheat. He also approved the withdrawal of affiliation and recognition of private institutes if any of their staff is caught facilitating cheating.