“They wouldn’t even let me bring this into the exam room,” Manish Regar said, pointing to a metal buckle on his black baseball cap.
While waiting to catch a bus home to Vidhyadhar Nagar Stadium, the 23-year-old speaks in disbelief at the strict security measures put in place for the constable recruitment exam which started on Friday.
“They also didn’t allow this long-sleeved shirt I was wearing,” Regar says, as lathi-armed police from the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary stand guard.
This year, the Rajasthan police-led test spanned four days and 470 centers across the state to accommodate around 19 lakh applicants who, like Regar, hope to find employment.
And with the sting of last year rajasthan eligibility exam for teachers exam or REET still not forgotten, security measures have been reinforced.
In addition to the usual control of prohibited items, candidates this year had to go through a biometric identification system. And jammers are blocking cellphone signals in and around the site, with the government desperate to avoid a REET-like situation.
Held last September, the REET exam was canceled after it was discovered that the quiz was leaked just two days before the test and sold for Rs 1 crore. This came despite the government suspending internet services in several parts of the state to prevent cheating – a move that has earned the government heavy criticism.
The REET scandal had become a major embarrassment for the ruling Congress as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot removed the chairman of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) who conducted the test.
What was more embarrassing was that those arrested for leaking the log included officials delegated by the RBSE to oversee the test.
This time around, with free bus services ferrying candidates to and from their respective exam centers, caution remains in order.
According to ADG (Recruitment and Promotion Committee) Binita Thakur, apart from the installation of mobile jammers, only police personnel and proctors were allowed to be present inside the exam centers.
With a digital biometric system also in place, she says, applicants, especially women, were instructed not to have mehandi or ink on their hands.
With REET due to be held again this year, the Rajasthan Assembly in March passed the Public Examination of Rajasthan (Measures to Prevent Abusive Means in Recruitment) Bill, 2022 in March, which provides for a prison sentence of 10 years in addition to a fine of Rs 10 crore for those caught. cheating on government recruitment exams.
However, incidents of gangs engaging in unfair means during examinations continued.
On Friday, as the constable recruitment exam started, Bhiwandi Police arrested two people for allegedly deceiving candidates into offering to show them the questionnaire for Rs 15 lakh.
Back at the bus stop near the Vidhyadhar Nagar stadium, a candidate has lost his wallet and an announcer is making a fervent plea on the microphone.
“There was nothing in the wallet except family photos. Please return it. Bhawnaaon ke samman karein (please respect feelings).