Indian State Cuts Off Internet for 8.5 Million to Prevent Students Cheating on Standardized Test

As a result, millions lost their internet access.
Extreme measures

On Sunday, internet access was cut off for millions of Indians in Rajasthan. It was a strange reason: it was test day.

More than 1.6 million people took the Rajasthan Eligibility Exam For Teachers (REET). The Register reported that the state shut down the internet to prevent them from cheating by searching for answers. Problem is, millions more people were affected by this shutoff. This is alarming evidence of government overreach that locals claim has made it business as usual.

Major disruption

According to research and estimates by The Registers, approximately 8.5 million Rajasthanis were without internet for about the duration of The Registers. This was a significant adjustment from living in quarantine.

The Indian Software Freedom Law Centre stated in a blog post that internet shutdowns can cause economic loss and impact on education and healthcare. A pandemic internet shutdown can be particularly devastating, as citizens rely on the internet for information, work and study.



Flimsy Justification

It is worth noting, however, that teachers have real-life internet access. This means that the workplace has become an open-book test and candidates are no longer required to use it.

The Register surveyed social media posts from the affected area after the shutdown was over. It found that many people simply ignored the situation and said that it had become a common occurrence. Other regions, however, have experienced much more severe internet shutdowns.

Jammu and Kashmir, which are Muslim-majority areas, have had their internet access cut for unclear security reasons. The Register indicates that this situation is only going to get worse.

READ MORE: India cuts internet access to millions of students in an effort to end cheating on exams [The Register]



Read more about internet shutdowns: In 2019, hundreds of times, the government shut down the Internet.

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