'Just a trial', college on placing cartons on students' heads

Karnataka college students made to wear cartons to avoid copying

Haveri: After about 50 students of a private college were forced to wear cartons on their head during an examination in a bid to prevent copying, the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) in Karnataka has served a notice to the institution on Saturday seeking an explanation.

The Bhagat Pre-University College, which functions out of a rented building in Haveri, was also found to be lacking basic facilities as officials conducted a probe.

The District Collector has directed that the college be shut down from the next academic year. The current students will be given places in other colleges.

The incident came to light after a video clip showing students wearing the cartons went viral late last week.

Defending the action, college head M B Satish had told the media that a college in Bihar had used a similar method to check rampant copying during exams and that it was widely appreciated on social media. "We tried to see how it works as a trial," he added.

The college management had released the photographs and videos of the incident in the hope that they too could garner the same response. In the official explanation letter sent to DDPI, the college maintains that the experiment was conducted to see if it helped to prevent students from copying.

The front of the cartons were cut for the students to breathe and see but they could not peep left or right to see the answer sheets of the other students seated on the same bench. The management said they had notified the students about the experiment well in advance.

The two-line explanation also indicated that such methods were practised in China and Japan.

Reacting to the incident which happened on Wednesday, state Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said that such an attempt was not acceptable.

"Whatever be the purpose, they (students) cannot be made to wear cartons for writing exams. There is no rule or advice from us. Nobody has any right to treat anybody, more so students, like animals. This perversion will be dealt with aptly," tweeted Kumar.