Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma | File photo

Assam government will shut mobile internet services in 25 districts on August 21, 28 and September 11 during a recruitment examination into nearly 30,000 grade III and IV posts.

A meeting between Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, chief secretary, police and other district officials on August 17 decided to ban mobile internet services for three hours during the days of the recruitment examination.

However, broadband services will be allowed.

During the meeting, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asked the deputy commissioners (DCs) to “scrupulously adhere to the standard operation procedures (SOPs) in letter and spirit for maintaining a fool-proof mechanism for recruiting the competent youth transparently in different government posts”.

He also said that since 14,30,337 candidates are expected to appear for the recruitment examinations, the DCs should ensure that no complacency is crept in, which could compromise with the sanctity of the examination. He also asked the DCs and SPs to be ready with their men and materials to thwart unscrupulous elements from disrupting the examination process.

The meeting decided that there will be one nodal officer in each of the 25 districts where examinations are going to be held and Assam government gazetted officers will also be put into action for each examination centre as observers to ensure that the SOPs are properly and satisfactorily executed.

Moreover, one sub-inspector level police officer will be deployed in each examination centre who will be assisted by other police personnel. The candidates along with the invigilators will be barred from carrying mobile phones or any other electronic gadgets in to the centre of examination.

The centre-in-charge in each examination centre will engage two videographers to video graph all relevant happenings in the examination centres. No candidate will be allowed to re-enter the examination centre after the end of the examination of that particular shift. However, the same candidate will be allowed to enter only at the prescribed hour and after proper frisking.

Chief minister Sarma also asked the SPs of the respective districts to keep their intelligence network active to help them to pre-empt any motive to disturb the examination process.

Internet shutdown in India

According to internet freedom and tech policy organisations, India is the leading country (by number) for internet disruption incidents and frequency of shutdowns.

For the fourth consecutive year, India has emerged as the country with the highest number of internet shutdowns for reasons ranging from curbing protests to preventing online frauds, a report released by tech policy think tank Access Now has found.

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