GUWAHATI: The Assam government’s move to temporarily impose mobile internet shutdown across 25 districts as an anti-cheating measure for examinations have been resented by section of the civic society.

A Guwahati-based social worker has moved the Gauhati High Court challenging the Assam government’s order to shut down mobile internet services in the state on August 21 and 28.

The decision to suspend mobile internet services during exam hours of Assam direct recruitment was taken by the state government to prevent cheating in exams.

Pertinently, the petitioner identified as Raju Prasad Sarma has filed a writ petition in this regard with the assistance of an organization – Internet Freedom Foundation, which advocates net neutrality, free expression, privacy and innovation.

The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), on Tuesday, in a tweet asserted that it has assisted Sarma in filing the writ petition.

“In the interest of holding free, fair, and transparent recruitment exam it is prudent and expedient to plug all possible loopholes including temporary disabling of mobile internet connectivity during examinations hours on the days fixed for holding such written examinations,” the government order read.

The government’s decision involves the Indian Telegraph Act, section 5(2) which allows for temporary suspension of mobile internet for public safety or during public emergency.

This effectively means that for four hours on two days, people in Assam would not be able to access mobile data services.

The Assam Government order said that on August 28, mobile internet services would be suspended from 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm.

The first phase of the recruitment exam was held on August 21 and the next two phases would be held on August 28 and September 11 where 14 lakh candidates would appear.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: