The central government has tabled the Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 in the Lok Sabha today. The bill is aimed at curbing cheating and irregularities in various public exams conducted across the country including those by Union and state public service commissions and railways. The legislation would also oversee various entrance exams in the fields of engineering, medical, as well as university entrance exams.
The draft legislation of the Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 identifies a total of 20 offences and unfair means observed in exams, and suggest stringent measures and punishments for individuals and firms involved in any of these malpractices during exams, as per a Hindustan Times report. That being said, we take a quick look down below at the provisions laid by the draft legislation.
Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024: Key Highlights
- Being caught using unfair means in examinations could attract a jail term of up to five years, and a penalty of up to Rs 10 Lakhs.
- A minimum jail term of three to five years for involvement in exam paper leaks. In case of offences done through an organised syndicate, the jail term could be extended up to 10 years.
- Fine of up to Rs 1 Crore for involvement in irregularities in exams.
- Investigations in paper leak cases to be done by an officer above the rank of deputy superintendent of police or assistant commissioner of police.
- The central government will have the power to transfer the investigation to a central investigation agency.
- If any exam conducting firm is caught involved in irregularities in exams, such firm shall be debarred from conducting examinations for the next four years. Such firms may also be fined with up to Rs 1 Crore, and a proportional cost of the examination shall also be recovered from such firms.
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