How Will the New Anti-Cheating Law Impact Public Exams in India?

How Will the New Anti-Cheating Law Impact Public Exams in India?

From Jail Terms to fines all you need to know about the Anti-Cheating Law officially known as Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024

New Delhi, 22 June 2024

The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, was officially enacted yesterday on 21st June to address the widespread problem of cheating and question paper leaks in public exams and entrance tests throughout India. This new law, introduced by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, establishes severe penalties for those involved in unfair practices. Here are some of the Key Highlights of the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024

Significant Jail Terms and Fines for Individuals

The law imposes a minimum imprisonment of three years for individuals found guilty of cheating during exams, with the term extendable to five years.
Offenders will additionally be subject to fines up to Rs 10 lakh and failure to pay the fine could result in an extended jail term.

Fines and Bans for Testing Agencies

Service providers and testing agencies implicated in malpractice can be fined up to Rs 1 crore. Additionally, they may be required to bear the proportionate cost of the examination and could be prohibited from conducting public exams for up to four years. jail terms ranging from three to ten years and fines of Rs 1 crore will be imposed on the senior management personnel on their involvement.

Exemptions for Unknowing Individuals

The law provides exemptions for individuals who can demonstrate that they were unaware of the offence and took sincere efforts to prevent it.

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Severe Penalties for Organized Crime

For those involved in organized exam-related crime, the law mandates a minimum imprisonment of five years, which can extend up to ten years, along with fines starting from Rs 1 crore.

Legislation Targets Major Exams

The enactment comes amid significant controversy over alleged malpractices in NEET and UGC NET exams. Parliament passed the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024, in February with widespread support, and it has now been formalized into law. This legislation aims to curb organized cheating in major recruitment exams such as UPSC and SSC, as well as entrance tests including NEET, JEE, and CUET.

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