PUBLIC EXAMINATION ACT 2024 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Social Issues-Education)

News-CRUX-10     20th February 2024        
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Context: The government has brought in the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, to curb increasing instances of question paper leaks and other malpractices in recruitment examinations.

Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024

  • About: The Bill seeks to prevent use of unfair means in public examinations. Public examinations refer to examinations conducted by authorities specified under the Schedule to the Bill, or notified by the central government.

Punishments under the new law

  • Persons committing an organised crime will be punished with imprisonment between five years and 10 years, and a fine of at least one crore rupees.  
  • If an institution is held guilty of committing an organised crime, its property will be attached and forfeited, and a proportionate cost of the examination will also be recovered from it.
  • Nature of Offences: All offences under the Act are cognisable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable.

Objective of Act 

  • Prevention of Unfair Means: The newly enacted Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, targets the prevention of the use of "unfair means" in public examinations.

oIt aims to eliminate cheating practices and ensure fairness, transparency, and credibility in government recruitment exams.

  • Coverage of Examinations: Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Boards (RRB), Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (BPS), and ministries or departments of the central government are covered under this act.
  • Measures Against Unfair Practices: The Act targets specific unfair practices such as the leakage of question papers or answer keys.

oIt also addresses issues like direct or indirect assistance to candidates and tampering with computer networks during examinations.

  • Responsibilities of service providers:  In the event of violation of provisions of the Bill, service providers must report to the police and the concerned examination authority.  A service provider is an organisation that provides computer resources or any other support to a public examination authority.
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