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Colleges Told to Install CCTV camera surveillance system in Examination Halls: The Kerala High Court

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The New Indian Express | Express News Service |  11th November 2015 |

KOCHI: Directing all colleges in the State to install CCTV cameras in examination halls, the Kerala High Court has observed that the surveillance system would act as a deterrent for students who indulge in the malpractice.  The court held that every endeavour should be made to install CCTV cameras by June 1, 2016. Justice V Chitambaresh passed the order while disposing of petitions filed by the Kerala Self-financing Engineering College Managements Association and the All-Kerala Private Arts and Science Unaided College Managements Association, challenging a recent directive to install CCTV cameras in colleges. The Syndicate Standing Committee had resolved to order installation of cameras after examining the Mahatma Gandhi University. The instruction issued by the Registrar specified the brands of CCTV cameras to be installed and their storage capacity.

The order had further stipulated that the hard-disk of the system should be kept in  safe custody of the principal, to be produced before the university as and when required. Hence, the petitioners approached the court.  “The need to install CCTV cameras in examination halls arises in the wake of reports of rampant malpractice, copying, during examinations. Students are likely to misuse the liberty given by the invigilator and indulge in impersonation and copying. Meanwhile, students who take pains to study hard and write examination without indulging in malpractice will end up scoring lower ranks than they deserve, leading to disgust and frustration,” held the court.  The court also made it clear that external examinations conducted by universities should be free from all kinds of malpractice. “This is not to say that CCTV cameras should function even during class internals and viva-voce, even though it may be insisted for external examinations,” said the court.  Surveillance is required only in examinations halls. The court also pointed out that the alleged copying by a high-ranking officer during examination had sparked a controversy recently, and that government colleges were also not free from the menace. The petitioners challenged the directive which stipulated that only self-financing colleges needed to install CCTV cameras.  The court said it was true that self-financing colleges had been treated differently in the matter of installing CCTV cameras. The court found it discriminatory and directed all self-financing, aided, unaided and government colleges to install CCTV systems.  “The Department of Higher Education secretary should take the necessary follow-up action in this regard,” stated the court. –  Courtesy


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