IT Ministry Gets SC Notice Over Internet Shutdown During Competitive Exams

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The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has laid out several new rules and regulations in recent times. Now, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the MeitY on a plea challenging the internet shutdown during the competitive exams to prevent cheating.

IT Ministry Gets SC Notice Over Internet Shutdown

The petitioner, Software Freedom Law Center is a legal service organization. The petitioner has challenged the internet shutdown during the state and central competitive examinations. The petitioner also seeks direction from the states to not suspend internet services to avoid cheating.

“The threat perception in all such cases is majorly flawed as district administrations in various states have been suspending internet services for an entire region for administrative reasons such as to prevent cheating in examinations. On one occasion, internet services were suspended even when high school examinations were being conducted,” the notice said.

The petitioner also stated that the internet shutdown needn’t be applied for other routine administrative reasons. The ANI report also details the petitioner has sought to set aside the blanket order of the Respondent State Rajasthan dated September 2, 2017.

Internet Shutdown in India

In 2021, the government authorities in the country shut down the Internet 182 times overall. It accounted for half of the total government-enforced shutdowns on a global scale – a report tech policy group from AccessNow states. This also puts India on the global list for internet shutdowns fourth time in a row.

Another report from internet tracker SFLC states 129 internet shutdowns occurred in 2020 and 100 in 2021. The report also states that 59 internet shutdowns have already occurred this year. Internet trackers and petitioners have vouched for free internet without shutdowns in the country.

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