Amid UGC-NET, NEET paper leak row, Centre brings into force stringent law to curb irregularities in exam

  • The Personnel Ministry issued a notification on Friday night, saying the law's provisions will come into force on June 21.

Livemint
Updated22 Jun 2024, 06:33 AM IST
The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024 - the anti-paper leak law for examinations for central recruitment and entrance into central educational institutions, came into effect on Friday. ANI Photo) (Representative Image)
The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024 - the anti-paper leak law for examinations for central recruitment and entrance into central educational institutions, came into effect on Friday. ANI Photo) (Representative Image)(Somnath Sen)

The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, which aims to curb unfair practices during public examinations and common entrance tests nationwide, came into effect on Friday.

This development comes amid controversy about alleged misconduct during the NEET and UGC NET exams.

A gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said, “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024 (1 of 2024), the central government hereby appoints the 21st day of June 2024, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force.”

Also Read: NEET, UGC-NET 2024 row: 10 year jail term, 1 Cr fine as punishments in new ‘anti-paper leak’ law. Full details here

The Bill was passed by the two Houses of Parliament in the Budget session which concluded on 10 February. It seeks to prevent the use of “unfair means” in public examinations and bring “greater transparency, fairness and credibility”.

On February 13, President Droupadi Murmu approved the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024, which targets the prevention of cheating in government recruitment exams. The Act specifically covers examinations conducted by various authorities designated by the central government.

Also Read: From paper leak charges to 67 toppers. Find complete timeline of NEET, UGC-NET row here

These include prominent bodies like the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Staff Selection Commission (SSC), Railway Recruitment Board (RRB), National Testing Agency (NTA), Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), and various departments of the central government along with their attached offices involved in recruitment processes.

The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, includes provisions to prevent the disclosure of confidential exam information before the scheduled time and unauthorized entry into exam centers to disrupt proceedings. Offenders can face imprisonment ranging from three to five years and fines up to 10 lakh.

Under this Act, all offences are cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable, indicating strict legal consequences for violations.

Regarding the NEET-UG 2024 exam, it was conducted on May 5, and unusually, the results were declared earlier than the scheduled announcement date of June 14, specifically on June 4. This timeline aligns with efforts to maintain transparency and prevent any potential leaks or misconduct associated with exam results.

Also Read: UGC-NET exam question paper sold for 6 lakh on dark web, coaching centres under CBI’s scrutiny, says report

The NEET-UG examination, administered by the NTA, serves as the gateway for admission into MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and other related courses in both government and private institutions nationwide.

Earlier, on June 13, the NTA informed the Supreme Court that it would cancel the scorecards of 1563 candidates who had initially received "grace marks" in the NEET-UG 2024 exam. These candidates were offered the choice to either reappear for the exam on 23 June, with results expected before 30 June, or opt to forfeit the compensatory marks granted due to the loss of time during the examination.

(With inputs from ANI)

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First Published:22 Jun 2024, 06:33 AM IST
HomeNewsIndiaAmid UGC-NET, NEET paper leak row, Centre brings into force stringent law to curb irregularities in exam

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