Indian exam cheats caught with Bluetooth slippers

Published September 27, 2021
A man shows a flip-flop with a concealed Bluetooth device (L) and a flip-flop with a concealed bluetooth device in this combination photo taken in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India, September 26. — AFP
A man shows a flip-flop with a concealed Bluetooth device (L) and a flip-flop with a concealed bluetooth device in this combination photo taken in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India, September 26. — AFP

Ten people have been arrested in India for planning to cheat in fiercely competitive teaching exams using Bluetooth devices concealed in their flip-flops, police said.

Cribbing has long been a problem in India and, for Sunday's government exams involving 1.6 million students in Rajasthan state, police had permission to snap mobile internet access while the tests lasted.

But one group planned to get around this with devices hidden in the soles of their flip-flops that could receive ordinary calls which would be transmitted wirelessly to tiny receivers hidden in their ears.

The plan was for accomplices outside to call the hidden contraptions and dictate the correct answers to the exams, said Priti Chandra, a police official in the western city of Bikaner.

But the group of would-be teachers was arrested acting suspiciously outside the examination hall on the evening before the exams and the devices in their footwear were discovered.

“We were aware of the possibility of cheating but we thought it would be a question paper leak or someone would use the internet, which is why it was restricted in many cities,” Chandra told AFP.

“But this was a totally new modus operandi. [They] are getting so tech-savvy.”

Investigations revealed that at least 25 students had bought these flip-flops from a gang for $8,100 per pair.

The information was shared with several other districts in time for the exams and many centres asked the students to remove their footwear outside the examination hall.

“In one case we caught a student after the exam and had to take him to a doctor to identify and remove the Bluetooth device from his ear,” Chandra said.

Cheating is rife in India's highly competitive government, university and even school examinations and authorities have struggled with increasingly sophisticated methods to help people pass.

These include professionals who earn a living impersonating others and taking exams in their place, to gangs stealing or illegally procuring exam papers and then selling them.

Opinion

Law & processions
16 Oct 2021

Law & processions

It is up to the police to impose reasonable conditions on a procession.
Is the party over?
16 Oct 2021

Is the party over?

Many in PTI are concerned how they can hang on till the next elections.
The last fortress
16 Oct 2021

The last fortress

The state wants to use the social media rules to trample on the right to freedom of speech.
Reopening under Covid
15 Oct 2021

Reopening under Covid

It will be a challenge to deal with all students returning to classrooms and maintaining SOPs.

Editorial

16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...
No need for NAB
Updated 15 Oct 2021

No need for NAB

THE National Accountability Bureau has sent instructions to its regional bureaus to stop processing cases that fall...
Forced conversions
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Forced conversions

THE majoritarian view has once again prevailed in the matter of bringing about legislation against forced conversion...
15 Oct 2021

Transgender rights

MEMBERS of the transgender community in the country are often at the receiving end of both their families’ and...