What's New :

Centre's New Anti-Cheating Bill

Published: 9th Feb, 2024


The Centre introduced the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 in Parliament to deal with cases of exam paper leak and tampering with answer sheets - whether for school exams, college entrance tests, or applications for government jobs.

Key Highlights

Key-highlights of the Bill

  • The Bill aims to bring in greater transparency, fairness and credibility to the public examination systems, and to reassure the youths that their sincere and genuine efforts will be fairly rewarded and their futures are safe.
  • Under the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, only those who leaked exam papers, or tampered with answer sheets, by colluding with government officials will face up to 10 years in jail and fine of ? 1 crore.
    • All offences under this bill shall be cognisable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable, meaning police will be empowered to act on its own (and arrest suspects without a warrant), the accused will not be entitled to bail, and the alleged offences cannot be settled via compromise.
  • Committee: The bill also proposes to set up a High level National Technical Committee on Public Examinations, which will look into developing protocols, fool-proof IT security system, ensuring comprehensive electronic surveillance of the examinations centres and formulating national standards and service levels for both IT and physical infrastructure to conduct an examination.

Which Exams Are Covered By New Bill?

Among other authorities, including those that may be notified/added to this list in the future, exams conducted by the below agencies will be covered under the proposed anti-cheating bill.

  1. Union Public Service Commission (i.e., for civil service entrance exams)
  2. Staff Selection Commission (i.e., for posts in union ministries and subordinate offices)
  3. Railway Recruitment Boards (i.e., for certain kinds of jobs in the Indian Railways)
  4. Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (i.e., for all public sector banks, except State Bank of India)
  5. National Testing Agency (i.e., for entrance exams for admission to higher educational institutions)

What is the need of such Bill?

  • Tampering with future: The leaks derailed schedules of as many as 4 crore applicants, applying for a little over 1.04 lakh posts.
    • The exam leak and disruption was a hot talking point as it stresses the candidates, their families, and successive batches of candidates.
  • Already shrinking opportunities: More so as it is linked to job vacancies at a time when the government employment pie is shrinking across states.
  • Absence of law: Also, there is no specific substantive law at national level to deal with unfair means adopted or offences committed by persons, organised groups, or any other agency/organisation that adversely impacts the conduct of public examinations by Central government and its agencies.

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