Gadget guru fails to crack it

If the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) got smart this PGET with high-end security measures to prevent copying, a student outsmarted it. Well, almost.

The spy pen and the mobile phone. DH Photo

Despite an elaborate process of biometric identification and a ban on electronic gadgets inside the exam hall, a student from Hyderabad, who studied MBBS at KIMS, managed to sneak in his mobile phone and a spy pen into the exam centre, Jain College on J C Road here on Sunday.

According to university officials, about 20 minutes into the exam, the invigilator grew suspicious about the student who had his hand in the pocket and was shuffling in his seat, distracting the student seated next to him. When the invigilator approached him, he was caught with his mobile phone in the pocket.

But more surprise lay in store as a spy pen was also found from him. The student used the spy pen to take the image of the question paper, which he planned to message to his friend in Hyderabad. A camera was set in the pen’s cap, which the student carried with him in his shirt pocket. When he bent down to take a look at the question paper, the pen’s cap in his shirt would capture that particular page of the question paper. With a bluetooth attached inside that was paired with his cell phone, the captured image would be immediately saved on his phone. With the click of a button, without even taking out his phone, he could message this image to his friend, who would ‘Google’ the answers and communicate with him. This would have happened if the student’s plan went without any glitch.

Asked by an RGUHS official how could he dare to copy with the spy pen, the student said that he was oblivious of the CCTV cameras. “Frankly, I did not know that CCTV cameras are here. If I knew, I wouldn’t have done what I did,” said the student, whose identity was not disclosed.

Although the student pre-tested the device in his hostel on Saturday, it did not work in the exam hall. His desperate attempts to make it work invited the invigilator’s attention and he was caught red-handed. The student reportedly worked on the device for the past 45 days.

He bought the device online and was shipped from China, as it is not available in India.
The camera cost him about Rs 5,000 whereas his mobile phone was worth Rs 13,000, RGUHS officials said. While reasoning out with the officials concerned, the student explained that he took the step as he did not want his parents to shell out exorbitant amount of money on his PG seat. He had attempted the exam last year too, but could not clear it. This time, he was determined to crack it, he told the university. He was arrested after the RGUHS Registrar lodged a complaint with the Silver Jubilee Park police station.

How did the student manage to sneak in the electronic gadget into the exam hall? One of the officials said the students were not frisked. “We had banned electronic gadgets but did not manually frisk every student. Next time, we might have to adopt that measure too,” he said.

Apart from this stray incident, the exam went peacefully at all the 15 locations in all the eight centres. According to RGUHS Vice-Chancellor K S Sriprakash, roughly 11,000 students, out of a total of 11,307, had appeared for the test.

“This exam was much easier than the 2011 exam and the All India entrance exam. Many questions were repeated. If one had studied well, this would have been a cakewalk,” said Vibha, a PG Medical aspirant from Hubli. But the exam would however have been more convenient had it been held at a centre closer home, she added. 

“The security measures this time were good. But those who are determined to cheat will find a way no matter how stepped up the measures are,” said another applicant, adding that since there is no negative marking in this exam, many students are hopeful of cracking it, particularly because many questions were taken out of previous exams.

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