NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all colleges and Universities that wish to install jammers to curb unfair means in exams to not procure them from "unauthorised manufacturers" .
After concerns were expressed by the Union Cabinet secretariat about procurement of these devices through open tender, the commission in a letter to VCs said that Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) are the two entities from which jammers can be procured.
Statutory examination conducting bodies have been permitted to deploy low powered jammers to prevent unfair means used through radio frequency based devices by examinees, the UGC said in its letter. It, however, added that "inviting open tender from unauthorised manufacturers is a violation of the policy of Government of India in this regard."
Asking Universities to follow norms ahead of the approaching exam season, the UGC also said that prior approval of Secretary (security), Union Cabinet Secretariat is necessary regarding the deployment and procurement of jammers. Last month, the Union Cabinet Secretariat had written to UGC that "proliferation of jammers is a serious security concern and inviting open tenders for procurement of jammers from unauthorised sources is a violation of the policy."
UGC has also asked Universities to provide details of examinations and deployment of jammers to ECIL and BEL so that a realistic assessment of number of jammers required can be made.
The government had worked on its jammer policy last year to curb unfair means in important exams. The jammer policy does not require the examination conducting bodies to purchase them and instead allows them to hire 'low frequency jammer' on rent after seeking approval of the cabinet secretariat.
Last year, upset at the irregularities in the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT), which was later cancelled, the Supreme Court had asked Centre to install phone jammers at exam centres to prevent paper leaks and other malpractices.