In a bizarre move to prevent cheating, over 1000 men who appeared in an exam for various posts in the Indian army were made to strip to their underwear.
The Army wanted to make sure candidates for various clerical and technical jobs couldn’t cheat on a written exam given in an open field Sunday in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.
Previous exams have apparently seen candidates hide scraps of paper and other cheating aids in their clothes for the one-hour test.
The High Court in the region has sought an explanation from the Defence Ministry by April 5, prompting the ministry to ask Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag for his take on the unusual measures.
“We were not expecting they would ask us to remove our clothes,” Sunil Kumar, one of the men who took the exam on Sunday, told CBS News. “It felt odd but we had no option.”
Director of the Army Regional Office, Col. V.S. Godhara, refused to comment on the matter to CBS News, but he was quoted earlier by India’s NDTV as saying he was “entitled to take all precautions necessary,” and noting “two instances of candidates hiding cheating slips and mobile phones in their vests and undergarments” during the last year.
Some media reports suggested the men were stripped to save time on frisking.
The incident took place in an Indian state where mass-cheating incidents have already garnered international headlines.
Last year, in Bihar’s Vaishali district, photographs of people clinging to windows of a multi-storey exam building to pass information to students inside went viral.
In January, the state government announced new fines for cheating.