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Updated February 5th, 2024 at 14:20 IST

What is Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill 2024? Know objectives, penalties here

Here's everything you need to know about the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill 2024 which was passed in Lok Sabha on February 5.

Nandini Verma
Haryana School Education Board examinations/ Represntative
हरियाणा विद्यालय शिक्षा बोर्ड | Image:Shutterstock
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The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill 2024 is a proposed legislation introduced in the Indian Parliament on February 5, 2024, aimed at combating organized cheating and irregularities in public examinations. The bill identifies 20 different offenses related to unfair means and proposes strict penalties, including imprisonment and fines. The bill was introduced in response to the growing concerns over organized gangs, mafia elements, and individuals engaging in unfair means during public examinations, which has led to the cancellation of tests and affected lakhs of students. The Indian government aims to enact this new law to deal sternly with such malpractices.

What are the penalties proposed in the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024?

 The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill 2024 proposes the following penalties for those found guilty of unfair means in public examinations:

  • A minimum imprisonment term of three to five years for individuals involved in exam leaks.
  • A minimum imprisonment term of five to 10 years for those involved in organized crimes of cheating.
  • A fine of up to ten lakh rupees (approximately $120,000) for individuals.
  • A fine of up to one crore rupees (approximately $1.2 million) for service provider firms involved in malpractices.
  • The proportional cost of the examination will be recovered from the company.
  • Service provider firms may be barred from conducting examinations for a period of four years if proven guilty.

What is the objective of the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 

The objective of the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 is to bring in greater transparency, fairness, and credibility to the public examination systems and to reassure the youth that their examinations will be free from malpractices and irregularities. The bill aims to deter organized gangs, mafia elements, and individuals engaging in unfair means during public examinations, including entrance examinations held by the Union Public Service Commission, the Staff Selection Commission, the Railways, and various computer-based examinations conducted by the National Testing Agency like JEE, NEET CUET, etc. 

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Additionally, the bill proposes the formation of a high-level national technical committee on public examinations to develop protocols for insulating digital platforms, devising ways and means for developing foolproof IT security systems, ensuring electronic surveillance of examination centers, and formulating national standards and services for both IT and physical infrastructure to be used for conducting examinations.The bill does not target students; instead, it focuses on eradicating the influence of nefarious elements affecting the fairness of public examinations. The bill aims to address the nationwide problem of exam paper leaks and to prevent the cancellation of examinations due to such malpractices.

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Published February 5th, 2024 at 14:16 IST

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