Dr MGR Medical University has decided to install jammers, cameras and metal detectors at examination centres
CHENNAI: The state medical university has learned a lesson from its students who used electronic gadgets to cheat in exams. The authorities have now decided to tap the same technology to prevent a repeat.After a recent investigation found that nine students of Stanley Medical College had cheated using Bluetooth technology, the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University has decided to install jammers, cameras and metal detectors at examination centres. “We’ve learned from the students,” said university vice-chancellor Dr Mayil Vahanan Natarajan. “We may never be able to totally prevent malpractice, but students should know there is a higher chance of getting caught.”
Though mobile phones have been banned in exam halls, candidates had managed to smuggle them in. It will not be so easy from March 15, when the postgraduate medical entrance exam is conducted. “The system will be in place for all the exams the university conducts hereafter. Centres which don’t have the stipulated equipment for screening and monitoring will not be allowed to conduct exams,” the vice-chancellor said.
The university received complaints from two final year MBBS students stating that they are heavily disadvantaged because nine of their classmates cheated during the exam. The students had listed the names of the nine medicos along with their roll numbers.
The university later found that one of the students wrote all the questions on a sheet of paper and threw it out of the toilet window. He had taken permission for a toilet break, just 20 minutes after the exam began. A house surgeon, who was waiting by the window took the sheet and dictated the answers through a friend’s mobile to nine students in the conference hall.
The students had used wireless headsets to listen to the answers. The university’s examination committee is now analysing the answer papers of the nine students to see if they have written their answers similarly. “If needed we will take the help of cyber crime police,” he said. The university is planning to initiate disciplinary action including debarring students from writing examinations.
There have been reports of medical students cheating during examinations, from several parts of the country in the last few years. The cheating apparently begins with copying project reports. “We have found them copy-pasting from the internet, just like they do music. And they discuss it openly,” said Dr R Surendran, former professor of medical gasteroentrology, Stanley Medical College.
The university has asked professors to explain to students the risks of such plagiarism. It has also proposed to upload all projects on the varsity’s intranet to prevent copying.
Students say the pressure to be a top performer in the exams leads to some students cheating. “It’s not just enough to get good marks in MBBS. You have to score very high marks and only a few can crack the PG entrance,” says a final year medical student. But copying is definitely not the way to get there, the university has made it clear.