Jaipur: The Rajasthan government is considering a ban on social messaging apps like WhatsApp around exam centres to prevent cheating, instead of the current practice of disabling the mobile internet services entirely. “We have suggested this to police department officials in a meeting and they are contemplating it. They will take a call on that and will reach out to mobile internet service providers for the specific configuration,” said Principal Secretary, IT and Communication Department, Akhil Arora on Thursday. “We will also provide them assistance if required,” he added.
Following the reports of cheating by candidates through hi-tech methods, the authorities shut down mobile internet services during competitive exams. Depending upon the nature of the exam, sometimes the entire state suffers a shutdown. But many officials believe this causes unnecessary inconvenience to others as well. They feel there is no need for a complete mobile internet ban as restricting messaging apps was enough to check to cheat. Arora said it was mostly applications like WhatsApp through which candidates indulged in cheating during exams. “Complete ban on mobile internet users to create a lot of inconvenience to people who use mobile internet for various services of e-governance and services of Uber, Ola and others. A ban on selective applications will be hassle-free to the common man,” he said. Arora said the arrangement was “very much feasible” and the restriction will be based on the locality of the examination centres. “In our e-governance intranet, we do not allow every user to use social media in offices. We can easily configure prohibition of applications which need not be allowed and restrict undesirable sites rather than putting an overall ban,” he said.