Modern problems require ancient solutions?
For an Indian state like Rajasthan, test days hold utmost importance so much so that the government decided to shut off the state’s internet access on Sunday to stop people from cheating.
For 1.6 million people taking the Rajasthan Eligibility Exam for Teachers (REET), 8.5 million more had to face the consequence of the internet shut-down for the duration of the test during which they could only connect through phone calls to stay in touch with others.
The Indian state thought by taking this extreme measure of shutting down the internet, would prevent the participants from cheating but forgot to take in the economic loss caused by this idea. “Internet shutdowns are bound to cause economic loss, an impact on education, healthcare, and other welfare schemes,” the Indian Software Freedom Law Centre said in a blog post about the shutdown. “An internet shutdown during a pandemic can be especially grave considering citizens depend on the internet to get information, work, and study.”
In today’s world where technology is at the core of existence, it seems quite absurd that the teachers were required to give the test without having any access to the internet whereas, in real life, teachers are encouraged to use the internet to provide a better learning environment for the students.
After conducting a survey of the social media posts after the shutdown, the Register found that many people didn’t really make a big deal of this situation as it has become quite the norm for society. Just like how the Muslim-majority regions in Jammu and Kashmir often have their internet access cut off due to security reasons. This just goes to show how easy it is for a government to take control of the internet and keep their people in the shadow for as long as they want.