LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Police in northern India have broken up a gang that promised professional test-takers and high-tech listening devices to help applicants pass a two-day test to become police constables, officials said Tuesday.
The Uttar Pradesh state Special Task Force made 23 arrests Monday and Tuesday, said police official Amitabh Yash, and police were carrying out additional raids in search of more people. The suspects were arrested in major cities across the state.
Those arrested included so-called "solvers" — people paid to take a test for someone else — and agents who represent them. Police also seized small listening devices, designed to be worn inside the ear, so that answers could be dictated to test-takers.
In some cases, police said cheaters would take photos of the tests and message them to people waiting outside. Those people then relay answers back to the test-takers.
Testing to become constables, low-level Indian police officers, began Tuesday. The job is highly sought-after among working-class and poor Indians, with more than 2.3 million people applying this year for 42,000 openings in Uttar Pradesh.
Cheating is rampant in Indian exams, in schools and for government jobs, though authorities have tightened security in recent years to try to lessen the problem. Closed-circuit TV cameras have become common in testing centers, and test-takers are often forbidden from wearing heavy clothing that could hide cellphones or crib sheets.
More than 1 million students skipped a pair of key high school exams this year in Uttar Pradesh after authorities announced the state government had created a special task force and an intelligence unit to monitor the tests.