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01st March 2024 (10 Topics)

How to reduce Cheating?

Context:

The issue of question paper leaks in examinations, highlighted by a recent incident during constable recruitment in Uttar Pradesh, amidst the discussion surrounding the enactment of the Public Examinations Prevention of Unfair Means Act of 2024.

Legislative Measures and Challenges:

  • The Act: The enactment of the Public Examinations Prevention of Unfair Means Act introduces severe penalties for cheating in exams, including imprisonment and fines.
  • Low conviction: Despite existing legislation in many states, convictions for cheating have been scarce, indicating challenges in enforcement and effectiveness of punitive measures.
  • Loopholes: The attributes of a good exam, including reliability, validity, and objectivity, are compromised due to loopholes in examination processes and lack of accountability.

Role of National Testing Agency (NTA) and Technological Challenges:

  • NTA but with challenges: The establishment of the NTA represents a step towards a more scientific and professional approach to exam conduct, but challenges persist in maintaining integrity.
  • Cyber threats: Transitioning exams online was intended to mitigate risks associated with paper-based exams, but it has introduced new challenges, including vulnerability to cyber threats and inadequate testing of technology.
  • Alternative approaches: Exploring alternative approaches such as reducing the significance of exams in selection processes and incorporating long-term performance assessments can help mitigate the desperation to cheat.

Need for Innovation and Special Investigation Agency:

  • The solution: Addressing the issue of organized cheating requires innovative approaches, including reducing the importance of exams in selection criteria and designing systems with multiple inputs.
  • Agency: Proposal for the creation of a special investigation agency to swiftly investigate examination offences and bring culprits to justice.
  • Fool-proof system: Emphasizing the importance of a robust, fool-proof, and innovative examination system to ensure fairness and reliability in exams.
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