Rajasthan: Govt Bans Internet to Stop Cheating in Teacher Recruitment Exam
New Delhi: February 27 was the third day of the teacher recruitment examination in Rajasthan, and the administration had banned the internet in Jaipur from 6 a.m to 6 p.m. On February 25 and February 26, similar bans were enforced in other districts.
According to media reports, through a letter from the Staff Selection Board, a demand was made to the Home Chief Secretary to shut down the internet to prevent cheating and paper leaks in the examination. Following that, the administration decided to impose internet bans.
The ban impacted common people; at the same time, candidates also found it difficult to reach the location and get other information.
Nishant, a resident of Jaipur, told NewsClick over phone that people working from home were struggling due to the internet shutdown.
"It stops the work. On top of that, one can't access online payment or google maps. It's a good thing that the government is serious about the examinations. However, instead of troubling the public, it would have been better if the crores spent on the security of the papers would have been used properly to prevent malpractices," he said
In the past few years, several examinations saw papers being leaked online in Rajasthan. Despite all the efforts by the government, the Rajasthan Eligibility Examination for Teachers (REET) could not stay away from the ruckus. It isn't limited to paper leaks. In the Tonk district, there weren't sufficient examination papers for the second shift at a centre on February 26, leading to a commotion of a large number of candidates. This happened while the government imposed an internet shutdown.
The notice announcing the internet shutdown due to REET exams.
Even after strict checking on entry, a dummy candidate was caught in the first shift of the examination in Udaipur. On the first day of the REET examination on February 25, Jodhpur police caught a gang from a marriage garden, in which 19 boys and 10 girls were getting the paper solved.
The police had claimed that the questions found with the gang did not match the original examination paper. However, a deal was made for Rs 40 lakh for this. Earlier, there were reports of attempts to sell answer keys in Bikaner. Many reports of the leak of this paper are also viral on social media, which the administration has denied.
Announcement of One Lakh New Recruitments
The Assembly elections in Rajasthan are scheduled for later this year. While replying to the state budget on February 16, chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced one lakh new government vacancies. However, the state government only has 6-7 months left to complete these new recruitments as the model code of conduct would be imposed around September or October.
If the candidates are to be believed, it takes at least one and a half to two years from the release of the notification till the date of appointment. It remains to be seen how the Gehlot government would proceed with these new recruitments.
Repeated Paper Leaks Affecting Candidates Mentally
REET is being conducted for 48,000 posts; the administration is using 2,940 centres in 11 districts. A total of 9,64,000 candidates have applied. While candidates allege irregularities, they do not want the paper cancelled. This is because, in December 2022, the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) cancelled the second-grade teacher recruitment examination due to paper leaks. When such things happen, the youth of the state have to wait endlessly to get government jobs.
Madhu, a REET aspirant, said, "Students prepare for these examinations for many years. We spent our own money to reach examination centres. Then a scam comes to light, and the paper gets cancelled. Everything becomes futile. It also affects our morale. In such situations, everything the government says seems empty, lacking any seriousness."
When asked about the announcement of one lakh new recruitments, Rahul, a candidate from Pushkar, says, "This is only an election promise of the government as in the current state of affairs, it is a big task even to complete the ongoing recruitments. Every examination has been controversial in Rajasthan, be it REET, Forest Guard, Constable, Lower Division Clerk or any other recruitment. Students get nothing except leaks."
Mistakes in Examinations are Common Now
Rahul says, "The news of paper leaks and irregularities no longer seems surprising because it has happened every time. This time also, the matter of some questions being wrong in the examination has come to the fore. Now I pray that the administration's point is correct and the paper is not leaked because everyone has high expectations. We will only know if the examination was good or bad when the results are out. In case of a successful examination, at least candidates will get the experience and the hope that there will be similar examinations in the future. Everyone is tired of repeated paper leaks."
The Gehlot government has repeatedly reiterated its commitment regarding these recruitments. The state administration may also consider taking action against the criminal elements involved in paper leaks under the National Security Act. CM Gehlot called the leaks unfortunate; however, these leaks are not limited to Rajasthan. There have been similar issues in Uttar Pradesh and other states governed by both Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress.
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