They came to take an exam. They were asked to take off their clothes first. In their underwear, hundreds of young men in Bihar took an exam in Muzaffarpur, for the post of clerk in the army. Some 1,100 candidates were horrified as they reached the examination centre and were instructed to strip (Feb 28). But they did what they had to. In a state notorious for cheating – blatant and often aided by examiners and parents – the army officials decided that it was the best way to eliminate the possibility of scraps of paper hidden in clothes. Defending the outrageous move, Army Regional office director Colonel VS Godhara said, in the past, there have been instances of candidates hiding cheating slips and mobile phones in their vests and undergarments. The candidates finally sat cross-legged on the ground in their briefs and used their thighs as tables for the one-hour test. Some complained they were cold and uncomfortable, but they had no choice. Reacting to images splashed across the media, the Defence Ministry has asked Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhaag to explain. The defence ministry has also been asked for an explanation by the High Court in Bihar.