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ANTI-PAPER LEAK LAW: STRICT PENALTIES FOR EXAM CHEATING



  Jun 26, 2024

ANTI-PAPER LEAK LAW: STRICT PENALTIES FOR EXAM CHEATING



Amid recent controversies surrounding the NEET and UGC-NET exams, the Centre has enacted a stringent law to curb paper leaks and cheating. The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, was notified recently, with significant penalties for those found guilty of leaking papers or tampering with answer sheets.

Key Provisions of the Act:

• Jail Terms and Fines:
• Minimum jail term of three years, extendable to five years.
• Fine up to ₹10 lakh for individuals involved.
• Examination service providers aware of potential offences but failing to report can be fined up to ₹1 crore.
• Senior officials found guilty can face up to 10 years in prison and fines up to ₹1 crore.
• Organised crimes by examination authorities or service providers will result in a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 years in jail, with fines of ₹1 crore.
• Offences Cognisable and Non-Bailable:
• All offences under the Act are cognisable and non-bailable, ensuring immediate and stringent action against offenders.

Context and Implementation:

• Exam Controversies:
• Allegations of question paper leaks and the awarding of grace marks in NEET-UG 2024, which saw protests and court cases, including intervention by the Supreme Court.
• The UGC-NET exam was recently cancelled after information from the cyber crime team about questions appearing on the darknet.
• Ministerial Response:
• Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has acknowledged the issues and assured that the new law will prevent such incidents in the future.
• Despite describing the leaks as isolated incidents, the minister has taken moral responsibility for the situation.

The new law marks a significant step in ensuring the integrity of public examinations in India, with strict penalties aimed at deterring any malpractice.


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