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Bill addressing exam malpractices is expected in Parliament on Monday

February 1, 2024

The government is poised to introduce a comprehensive legislative response to combat malpractices and irregularities in competitive examinations. The proposed Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024, is expected to be presented in Parliament next week, featuring stringent measures including a maximum jail term of 10 years and fines up to Rs 1 crore.

Sources indicate that the bill, recently approved by the Union cabinet, may be introduced on Monday, pending a final decision. Notably, the legislation is designed to address the widespread issue of malpractices and irregularities in competitive exams, necessitating a robust legal framework to ensure the integrity of the examination process.

The proposed legislation, according to insider information, is not directed at penalizing students but rather focuses on combating organized gangs, mafia elements, and individuals engaging in malpractices. It leaves no room for leniency, even for government officials found colluding with such elements.

This legislative initiative follows a series of exam cancellations across various states due to question paper leaks, including exams for teacher recruitment in Rajasthan, Common Eligibility Test (CET) for Group-D posts in Haryana, recruitment exams for junior clerks in Gujarat, and constable recruitment examinations in Bihar.

The bill goes beyond punitive measures; it introduces the establishment of a high-level national technical committee on public examinations. This committee is tasked with recommending strategies to enhance the security of computerized examination processes. It will delve into developing protocols for securing digital platforms, implementing foolproof IT security systems, ensuring electronic surveillance of examination centers, and formulating national standards for both IT and physical infrastructure involved in conducting such examinations.

Instances of organized groups and mafia elements deploying solver gangs, engaging in impersonation methods, and participating in paper leaks have underscored the urgency of such legislation. The primary aim of the bill is to deter such nefarious activities, instilling greater transparency, fairness, and credibility in public examination systems.

President Droupadi Murmu, in her address at the commencement of the Budget session, acknowledged the concerns of the youth regarding irregularities in examinations. She emphasized the government’s commitment to enacting a new law that sternly addresses such malpractices, highlighting the importance of safeguarding the sincere and genuine efforts of the youth and ensuring a secure future for them.

Also read: Students made to wear cardboard boxes to avoid cheating during exams

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