PUBLIC EXAMINATION BILL (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 –Social Issues)

News-CRUX-10     7th February 2024        

Context: In a significant move aimed at ensuring the integrity and fairness of public examinations, the Lok Sabha passed the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024.

Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024

  • Objective: The Act aims to prevent the use of unfair means in public examinations conducted by specified authorities.
  • Key Feature of the Act:
  • Definition of Public Examinations: Public examinations refer to exams conducted by authorities listed in the Schedule to the Act or notified by the central government. These include UPSC, SSC, Railway Recruitment Board, NTA, IBPS, and departments of the central government for recruitment.
  • Offences Defined: The Act defines various offences related to public examinations, including collusion, leakage of question papers, assisting candidates, tampering with documents, conducting fake exams, etc.
  • Penalties: Offences under the Act carry imprisonment between three and five years, along with fines up to Rs 10 lakh.
  • Responsibilities of Service Providers: Service providers, offering computer resources or support to examination authorities, must report violations to the police and concerned authorities. Failure to report is an offence. Shifting exam centers without permission is prohibited.

o   Offences by service providers attract fines up to one crore rupees. They may also be barred from conducting public exams for four years.

  • Organized Crimes: Higher penalties apply to organized crimes related to public examinations. Offenders face imprisonment between five and ten years, along with fines of at least one crore rupees.
  • Inquiry and Investigation:All offences under the Act are cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable. Investigations are conducted by officers not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police.
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