In this March 2014 photo, Indians climb the wall of a building to help out students taking exams in Hajipur, Bihar. (AP Photo/Press Trust of India, File)
NEW DELHI — It’s only the fourth day of annual examinations in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh and already the government says 661,643 students — around 10 percent of the total number enrolled — have failed to show up.
A government official said it’s because this year they’ve upped their anti-cheating efforts, and clamped down on the state’s notorious education mafia by installing CCTV cameras and deploying a police task force to catch the cheaters.
India’s hugely competitive examination system coupled with poor teaching standards in schools has seen the growth of a massive cheating industry in recent decades. Students need top marks — sometimes over 99 percent — to get into the country’s highly oversubscribed universities and so examiners are bribed, answer sheets leaked and exam rooms …