The University of Kerala has directed the managements of self-financing professional, arts and science colleges to install cameras inside examination halls to prevent and detect the growing incidents of mass copying by students, allegedly with the connivance of college authorities. The university has also directed the managements to conduct examinations in the ground floor as far as possible to give easy access to squads to carry out checks. A decision to this effect was taken at a recent Syndicate meeting after conducting a review of the malpractice cases detected in the past two years, P.S. Sreekala, convener, Syndicate standing committee on Students’ Discipline, told The Hindu.

Instances of mass copying had shown an unprecedented rise in the recent years, she said. In the past academic year alone, five cases of mass copying were referred to the committee by the Controller of Examinations. Accordingly, the committee had imposed fines varying from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.2 lakh to various institutions — a dental college near the city, a teacher education college in Alappuzha, an engineering college in the city and another one in Kollam.

“Information gathered from students during hearing suggests that the malpractice was done with the connivance of management,” she said.

A recent High Court order stipulating a minimum of 40 per cent pass as a pre-condition for giving affiliation to the next batch could be one of the reasons why managements allowed mass copying, a Syndicate member said.

The powers vested with the university in dealing with such malpractices were limited, Ms. Sreekala said.