Heave a Sigh of Relief! There won’t be Any Internet Shutdowns in Udaipur for Govt. Exams

Internet shutdowns have become a weekend affair for all the Udaipurites as every now and then it takes place in the city and the reason is the same ‘To stop students from cheating in the government exams’. It doesn’t just frustrates the citizens but affects several aspects in the city including IT companies, digital platforms, online banking, online booking, education sectors, the stock market, and the list is endless.

Well, if you are the one who thinks the same, then it’s a good news for you. According to a letter issued by the Rajasthan Government, it has been clearly instructed to the authorities of the city that they cannot suspend internet services of the district to prevent cheating at the Government exams getting conducted in the city.


Now, all the citizens can heave a sigh of relief for those internet-less days are gone now. At the end of the day, our authorities have finally taken a smart decision for our smart city and it won’t face any internet shutdowns now, not for a government exam at least.

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Another Internet Shutdown in Smart City Udaipur

In the book of internet shutdowns 2018 of Udaipur, another internet shutdown is going to take place tomorrow i.e. 7th October 2018. The time for the same is 9 am to 5 pm. The order was released by the office of the divisional commissioner on 5th October 2018.

You ask why? This time the reason for the shutdown is Deputy Inspector General of Police Recruitment examination 2018 which will be conducted on Sunday. Like always, the decision has been taken in order to prevent the leakage of the examination papers and mass copying during the examination. And so, the most convenient option from the administration’s end was to shut down the internet.

However, some questions that raise in every commoner’s mind is that ‘Is this the most effective solution to control cheating during the examination? Is there completely no alternate for the same? Before taking such measures, does the amount of loss faced by the citizens ever cross the administration’s mind? Is it necessary to ban the internet of the entire district rather than putting jammers on the examination spots?’

Picture by: Fouzia Mirza

A thing to note:

Within a period of 3 months, the city has faced internet shutdowns for 4 days. It seems like the city is facing internet bans at a frequency at which it faced power cuts earlier. At such rate, more shutdowns like such can be expected in the upcoming month.

During the period of this internet ban, the lease line services will remain unaffected.

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Are We Easily Accepting the Insane Decisions of Government? | Internet Ban in Udaipur

Rajasthan is witnessing an action that is unprecedented in the history of a democracy anywhere in this world. Rajasthan officials enforced a two-day statewide internet ban with arbitrary geographical boundaries. The reason for this was to deter cheating at the Rajasthan State Constable Examination.

Administrators in each district had to pass orders to shut down the cellular internet (and home broadband services too maybe) on the last weekend from 8AM-5PM in the day [copy of an order from Divisional Commissioner, Udaipur]. This is the first time something of this scale happened but Rajasthan is no stranger to regional internet bans. We are being normalized for what is an extreme action. This time the reason for the shutdown was to deter cheating at a government examination. Shutdown internet for the whole state to stop cheating at an exam makes perfect sense.

Folks at Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC) have been tracking the Internet Shutdowns across India for last four years. According to, state of Rajasthan has seen 25 shutdowns in this duration which is second highest for any state in India after J&K! SFLC’s handbook on Internet Shutdowns in India is fairly useful policy primer on the issue.

This meant a loss of livelihood to many (cab drivers, mobile recharge shops, food delivery businesses, remote employees, freelancers, the list goes on). Approximately, the transaction of around 20 crores was interrupted, 14,000 e-tickets were not booked, roadways tickets suffered a loss of 5% and similarly, numerous people suffered from the ban. This directly negated the whole idea of digital India and the push to digital payment that came after demonetization. This is probably harmful in a hundred more ways. None of these shutdowns are properly communicated. The government simply is not even interested to gauge in the economic and other losses as a result of these bans to a state of 6.89 Crore people!

It is even more important that you make yourself heard because there is no framework or metric right now that the Office of District Magistrate or any official higher in the ladder uses to decide what events/occasions duly require a blanket ban (if any at all!). By not speaking, you are surrendering your rights to access the internet which is equivalent only to let the government decide when you get to be online and when not.

I am not sure if you or your friends are directly affected but we still need to hold our administration accountable at this moment. Only because this is an immense power exercise!

We need our government to answer a few really basic questions:

  • What is the process of arriving at the conclusion of such a blanket ban?
  • How are geographical boundaries in ban enforced? Who is enforcing these boundaries?
  • What all exams in the future will require a blanket ban?
  • What is significantly different about these exams that we have to resort to an action of this scale? An order like this is unprecedented in the history of our country (or any country probably)

To put things in perspective, internet bans are used around the world even by authoritarian regimes only in dire needs and at times of revolt (think Arab spring). We are a liberal democracy seeing this enforced so casually. This is normalization!