Lok Sabha passed the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair means) Bill 2024 on Tuesday (5 February) after the Bill was introduced by Union Minister Jitendra Singh in the Lower House a day before.
The Bill seeks to prevent the use of unfair means in public examinations and has provisions of a fine of up to Rs 1 crore and a maximum jail term of 10 years. Here are the key features of the Bill:
1, Against unfair means: It prohibits collusion or conspiracy to facilitate indulgence in any unfair means like unauthorised access or leakage of question paper or answer key and other activities.
2. Against organised crimes: The Bill specifies a higher punishment for organised crimes where the unlawful act is committed by a person or a group of persons to further a shared interest for wrongful gain in relation to public examinations.
3. Defines responsibilities of service providers: Service providers must report any violation to the police and the concerned examination authority and failure to report is considered an offence.
4. Inquiry and investigation: All offences under the Bill will be cognisable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable. The central government is also authorised to transfer the investigation to any central investigating agency.
5. Why was it necessary: In the past few years, lakhs of aspirants have been affected by the leak of question papers and the subsequent cancellation of exams. Stricter laws will protect them from such incidents in the future.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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