Narendra Modi Government Proposes Bill to Tackle Exam Cheating: Offences, Sentences, Exams Covered, and More Revealed

The introduction of this bill reflects the government's commitment to maintaining the integrity of public examinations and ensuring a level playing field for all candidates.

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In a significant move aimed at ensuring transparency and fairness in public examinations, the Narendra Modi government introduced the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024, in Parliament on Monday. This bill, spearheaded by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, outlines various unfair means in examinations that would be punishable by law once enacted, along with the corresponding punishments for these offences.

The key objectives of the bill, as stated, are to enhance transparency, fairness, and credibility in public examination systems while assuring the youth that their genuine efforts will be duly rewarded and their future safeguarded.

Outlined below are the offences identified under the bill:

  1. Question Paper or Answer Key Leaks: Leakage of question papers or answer keys.
  2. Collusion: Participation in collusion with others to facilitate question paper or answer key leaks.
  3. Unauthorized Access: Accessing or taking possession of question papers or OMR response sheets without authority.
  4. Providing Solutions: Providing solutions to questions by any unauthorized person during an examination.
  5. Assistance to Candidates: Assisting candidates in an unauthorized manner during examinations.
  6. Answer Sheet Tampering: Tampering with answer sheets, including OMR response sheets.
  7. Norms Violation: Willful violation of norms or standards set by the central government for examination conduct.
  8. Document Tampering: Tampering with documents essential for candidate short-listing or merit finalization.
  9. Security Measures Violation: Deliberate violation of security measures during examinations.
  10. Computer System Tampering: Tampering with computer systems or networks.
  11. Manipulation in Seating Arrangements: Manipulating seating arrangements to facilitate unfair means.
  12. Threats or Obstruction: Threatening or obstructing individuals associated with examination authorities.
  13. Fake Websites: Creation of fake websites for cheating or monetary gain.
  14. Fake Examination Conduct: Conducting fake examinations or issuing fake admit cards.
  15. Coverage of Examinations: The bill covers examinations conducted by various government bodies, including UPSC, SSC, RRBs, IBPS, Ministries, and NTA.

Regarding punishments, the bill specifies that all offences will be cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable. Individuals found guilty could face imprisonment ranging from three to five years, along with fines up to ten lakh rupees. Service providers facilitating such unfair means may face fines up to one crore rupees and be barred from future examination responsibilities.

Additionally, the bill outlines stringent penalties for organized crimes related to examination malpractice, with imprisonment extending up to ten years and fines reaching ₹1 crore.

The introduction of this bill reflects the government’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of public examinations and ensuring a level playing field for all candidates. If enacted, it will serve as a crucial deterrent against cheating and unfair practices in examinations, thus upholding the sanctity of India’s education system.

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