Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Meet Bihar’s new furry invigilators

It’s getting very strange in Mr Nitish Kumar’s Bihar these days. While western countries are fast taking recourse to robots, Bihar is turning to their canine friends. In a bizarre move, dogs have been given the job of invigilators in the ongoing Degree Part III examinations being conducted by Patna University.

According to reports, some sniffer dogs have been pressed into service to detect objectionable materials that examinees appearing at different examination centres may possess.

The examinations began here yesterday. Reports said the new furry, tail -wagging invigilators walked up and down the rows of examinees and tried to sniff out chits believed to have been carried by them.

The movement of the dogs inside the examination hall caused much inconvenience to the examinees. Prohibited materials though were searched by the sniffer dogs, reports said.

According to Patna University officials, they had to take recourse to this rather unusual way of keeping tabs on unscrupulous examinees since the state police administration did not respond to their demands of deploying adequate police force at the examination centres. Subsequently, they enlisted the services of a private security agency that deployed sniffer dogs to root out cheating at the examination centres.

Over 7,000 examinees were appearing at the ongoing examinations being conducted at various examination centres, officials said. Only a week ago, the state police administration issued a new directive asking all the district superintendents of police and deputy inspector generals to deploy street dogs at all police stations and outposts to prevent extremist attacks.

The logic behind the ploy is that dogs have a terrific sense of smell that has proved invaluable in detection of suspicious movement. Street dogs had helped the cops posted at two different police
stations in Bihar’s Gaya district to protect themselves from Naxal attacks twice in the past.

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