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Parliament gives nod to bill intended to control unfair means in Public Examinations

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The Parliament has passed the ‘Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024’ with Rajya Sabha giving assent to it today. Replying to a debate on the Bill, Union Minister of State for personnel Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Narendra Modi Government has given priority and attention to the youth as they had not received the desired attention during the previous governments. He said, the government has taken several youth centric reforms with transparency which includes doing away with attestation by gazetted officers, abolishing interviews in different selection process and starting rozgar melas. The Minister said, the government trusts the youth of the nation. 

The Bill is intended to prevent unfair means in the public examinations. Public examinations refer to examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission, Railway Recruitment Board, National Testing Agency, and Departments of the central government. The Bill is intended to prohibit collusion or conspiracy to facilitate indulgence in any unfair means. Unfair means include, unauthorised access or leakage of question paper or answer key, assisting a candidate during a public examination, tampering with computer networks, conducting fake examination, issuing fake admit cards and offer letters. The objective of the Bill is to bring greater transparency, fairness and credibility to the public examination systems and to reassure the youth that their sincere and genuine efforts will be fairly rewarded and their future is safe. Candidates as defined in the Bill will not be liable for action within the purview of the Bill and will continue to be covered under the extant administrative provisions of the concerned public examination authority. As per the provisions of  the Bill, committed offence will be punishable with imprisonment between three to ten years, and a fine up from ten lakhs to one crore rupees. All offences under the Bill will be cognisable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable.

Abir Biswas of TMC, Dr Dinesh Sharma of BJP, Digvijay Singh of Congress, P Wilson of DMK, Fauzia Khan of NCP, M. Thambidurai of AIADMK and Sandosh Kumar P of CPI were among others who participated in the discussion. 

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