The government is set to introduce a robust bill in Parliament next week aimed at addressing malpractices and irregularities in competitive examinations. The proposed Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024, with provisions for a maximum jail term of 10 years and a fine up to Rs 1 crore, is likely to be presented on Monday, pending a final decision.
Recently approved by the Union cabinet, the bill seeks to target organized gangs, mafia elements, and individuals involved in malpractices while exempting students from its provisions. Government officials found colluding with such elements will also face repercussions.
The initiative responds to the recent cancellation of various competitive tests due to issues like question paper leaks. Notable cancellations include the teacher recruitment exam in Rajasthan, the Common Eligibility Test (CET) for Group-D posts in Haryana, the recruitment exam for junior clerks in Gujarat, and the constable recruitment examination in Bihar.
Additionally, the bill proposes the establishment of a high-level national technical committee on public examinations. This committee will recommend measures to enhance the security of computerized examination processes, develop protocols for securing digital platforms, ensure electronic surveillance of examination centers, and formulate national standards for IT and physical infrastructure used in such exams.
The bill specifically addresses the deployment of solver gangs, impersonation methods, and paper leaks by organized groups and mafia elements involved in malpractices. Its core objective is to deter such elements and instill greater transparency, fairness, and credibility in public examination systems.
President Droupadi Murmu, addressing a joint sitting of Parliament at the Budget session’s commencement, highlighted the government’s awareness of youth concerns regarding exam irregularities. She stated that a new law is being enacted to address such malpractices, assuring the youth that sincere efforts will be fairly rewarded, ensuring a secure future.