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Mobile Phones of 28 Students Seized for Copying from WhatsApp during Kerala Technological University Exam

Twenty-eight mobile phones have been seized from students of four engineering colleges under the Kerala Technological University (KTU), who had allegedly indulged in mass copying during supplementary examinations.

The third semester supplementary exam for Linear Algebra for KTU students was held on October 23. Sixteen mobile phones were confiscated from one college, 10 from another and one each from the other two colleges.

This information has emerged during an online hearing conducted by the Syndicate examination sub-committee with the principals and examination department teachers of these colleges.

The hearing was held on the instruction of Vice-Chancellor Dr M S Rajasree, a KTU press release here said. The varsity had cancelled the B-Tech third semester mathematics examination held across the state following complaints that answers were shared through messaging platform WhatsApp.

Mobile phones are prohibited in examination halls. Invigilators instruct students to keep mobile phones out before examinations begin. Some students had kept one mobile phone outside to mislead invigilators and had entered the examination halls with another mobile.

According to the University’s examination rules, those who enter the examination hall with a mobile phone unlawfully are debarred for that particular examination for the next three consecutive terms. In some colleges, upon the seizure of mobile phones, there were reports of teachers being shouted at demanding the immediate return of mobile phones, the release said.

Reports suggest that several WhatsApp groups have been formed for the same subject. Some groups had shared answers for seventy-five marks. Many of the seized mobile phones are now locked. These phones can be blocked and WhatsApp can be removed using duplicate SIM cards or using other electronic devices through an email account.

Principals of four colleges have suggested that there are technical limitations for re-checking mobile phones and finding more information. Also, it is necessary to check if similar incidents have taken place in other colleges and during other examinations.

Principals of these colleges have been asked to convene the disciplinary committee meeting and submit a detailed report within five days. Pro Vice Chancellor Dr S Ayoob, Syndicate examination sub-committee members Prof. P O J Labba, Dr C Satheesh Kumar, Dr G Venugopal and Controller of Examinations Dr K R Kiron participated in the online hearing.

Dr S Ayoob said, “In one of the colleges, a student was  caught with a mobile phone. Pictures of the question paper were taken and it was send to a WhatsApp group. Within minutes answers started flowing into the group.” Following this, the authorities sent a message to all colleges for a thorough check and found 28 mobile phones from students in four engineering colleges.

Dr Ayoob said, “Due to the Covid-19 situation, body check of students were not conducted. The invigilators did not go very close to students and looks like they tried to use this situation. Many of them carried two mobile phones and handed over one to the invigilator.”

Principals of the four colleges will submit a report to the university, following which, a police complaint will be made.

(With PTI inputs)

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