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Over 1100 students face action for cheating in SPPU’s online exams

While more than 800 students were caught cheating in the second semester exams which took place recently, over 350 students were caught cheating during the first semester exams conducted in April-May 2021.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune |
September 28, 2021 1:05:00 am
“Most of these students are from the engineering faculty. In fact, they constitute nearly 80 per cent of the total cases of cheating and malpractice,” Kakade said. (File)

Over 1100 students of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) are facing action after being caught red-handed by university officials while cheating during online examination.

While more than 800 students were caught cheating in the second semester exams which took place recently, over 350 students were caught cheating during the first semester exams conducted in April-May 2021. While the results of all other students have been declared, the results of these students have been held back until a committee of the university conduct its hearing and decide on the punishment.

Mahesh Kakade, director of examinations and evaluation department, SPPU, said hearings have been conducted of most of these students and if they are found guilty of malpractice only in one subject or it’s a case of a minor malpractice, they will be made to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 each. “However, if the malpractice is in several subjects or is of severe nature, the results will be held back and the student concerned would have to reappear for the exams,” he added.

“Most of these students are from the engineering faculty. In fact, they constitute nearly 80 per cent of the total cases of cheating and malpractice,” Kakade said.

While initially it was assumed that online proctoring wouldn’t be as effective as in physical classrooms, Kakade said that, on the contrary, artificial intelligence (AI) and cameras helped pick up cases of minor misdemeanour too.

“There are three main ways in which we are picking up these cases. One of them is movement, if a student moves too much during the exam. We have given them instructions not to do so… they are given warning after warning. Finally, the system automatically logs them out of the exam… In many cases, AI has detected mobile phones and cameras and captured screenshots of the same. In some cases, it was found that students opened an alternate page or website during exam. This time, we also used sound software and, in some cases, we have recordings of voice of students talking to others or groups discussing questions,” said Kakade.

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He said that a special team had been keeping track of groups on a particular social network where screenshots were reported to be shared of online exam papers. “I cannot disclose what our strategy was or how we tracked them but we caught students with proof on these groups,” he said.

Kakade said evidence of all the cases is available with the university and it was shown to students when they were called for a hearing.

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