In a sure-fire indication that examination malpractice continues to be a widespread phenomenon in the University of Kerala, the examination malpractice squad of the university apprehended 100 students with various kind of material on their persons over the last 20 days from colleges in Thiruvananthapuram district alone.

Controller of Examinations K. Madhukumar told The Hindu here on Monday that most of the students caught by the university's squad had chits tucked away on their persons.

In other districts

The university has squads operating in Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts as well, from where too students have been caught committing examination malpractice, he said.

A number of students caught committing examination malpractice was from self-financing colleges affiliated to the university.

In many colleges, the activities of the squad were hampered by the fact that there would be ‘spotters' outside the examination halls who would shout out warnings as soon as the squad entered the college premises. At once, students who had chits or other material on their persons would throw the paper outside the window, Dr. Madhukumar said.

Poor invigilation

The fact that unauthorised material is found on students also shows the invigilators in a poor light.

According to teachers who have been part of anti-malpractice squads, no invigilator can fail to spot such chits being used by students.

“In nine cases out of ten, such copying is done with the knowledge, if not approval, of the invigilator,” one such lecturer argued.

The fact that anti-malpractice squads also face the possibility of being assaulted or intimidated was driven home on Monday evening at the University College, here, when a student who was caught with a chit on his person reportedly assaulted a lecturer who was a squad member.

The squad that went to the college on Monday comprised four male teachers and one lady teacher.

According to a complaint on the issue received by Dr. Madhukumar, the lecturer at NNS College, Pandalam, was on his way to the office of the college Principal when the student allegedly hit him from behind.

Police protection

On reaching the Principal's office the squad members demanded police protection for leaving the college safely.

“The squad members come to my office normally to get the seized material certified. When the squad came today, they complained that a boy had assaulted one of them and they sought police protection,” college Principal K.B. Ajithkumar told The Hindu.

“Even though the police came, their help was not needed for the squad members to leave the college. The issue was thus settled,” the Principal added

Chits seized

The squad seized chits from five students in the University College on Monday; three of them were girls.

Attacker identified

The university would seek a report on the incident from the college Principal. This report would also form the basis on which the university should initiate action against the boy, who has been identified in the complaint submitted to the Controller of Examinations.