UPSC Proposes AI-Powered CCTV Surveillance To Curb Cheating, Officers Say 'Need To Implement AI In All Competitive Exams'

UPSC Proposes AI-Powered CCTV Surveillance To Curb Cheating, Officers Say 'Need To Implement AI In All Competitive Exams'

They are introducing facial recognition technology and an AI-based CCTV surveillance system to prevent cheating and impersonation in their exams, ensuring fair and transparent assessments.

Megha ChowdhuryUpdated: Tuesday, June 25, 2024, 03:00 PM IST
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UPSC Proposes AI-Powered CCTV Surveillance To Curb Cheating | File Photo

Across India, there is a high incidence of cheating that has come to light during examinations. From the use of chits and Bluetooth devices to individuals impersonating others and taking exams on their behalf. 

When these malpractices go unchecked, the quality of assessments is affected and cheaters get an unfair advantage over those who have worked hard on their academic performance. To address this challenge, UPSC, the nation’s top recruitment body, has chosen to enhance its measures.

They are introducing facial recognition technology and an AI-based CCTV surveillance system to prevent cheating and impersonation in their exams, ensuring fair and transparent assessments.  

The commission has issued a tender inviting bids for two primary solutions: Aadhaar-based fingerprint authentication or digital fingerprint capturing, facial recognition of candidates, and QR code scanning of e-admit cards. Additionally, live AI-based CCTV surveillance will be implemented during examinations.

Monitoring the moves

The UPSC has decided to install CCTV systems that record and broadcast live to monitor activities during its exams across multiple centres nationwide. These systems will include AI technology that can alert officials to movements at entry/exit points, improper classroom arrangements, camera malfunctions like masking or black screens, any movement in classrooms around exam times, and even detect if invigilators are inactive beyond specified times.

The AI should raise red flags at incidents which would indicate cheating, unfair means, absence of invigilators etc, the tender document added.

Maintaining ethical standards

An IAS officer from Maharashtra, says, “Maintaining ethical standards among exam officials is important. If officials are corrupt or hesitant to act against malpractices, it can undermine the entire system's integrity and allow cheating to persist. AI can check impersonation to only an extent. If there are lookalike brothers, then it may not be able to identify, and the invigilator will allow the candidate inside the exam centre.”

He says there is a need to incorporate AI technology in all competitive exams. “There is also a need to create professors of integrity above the invigilator for every exam centre who can ensure any oversight or malpractices. To prevent cheating, paper setters should also be instructed not to repeat a question. This can prevent cheating in examinations,” he adds.

Manisha Verma IAS, Additional Chief Secretary at the Government of Maharashtra (GoM), says, “The possibility of cheating in competitive examinations, particularly in online competitive examinations, poses a huge risk to deserving candidates. AI can play a critical role in building safeguards in exam proctoring. Facial recognition methods can be used to weed out possible instances of impersonation.” She adds, “AI can be used intelligently in physical exams as well and has been put into practical use for some competitive examinations already."

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