anti-cheating bill

An anti-cheating bill was passed in Lok Sabha to prevent dishonest means in public exams. Dishonest means include tampering with question papers or computers and conducting fake examinations. Leaking question papers or violating security measures also qualify as cheating.

Table of Contents

Overview of the anti-cheating bill

The Public Examinations Bill considers such practices a non-bailable offense. It further imposes an imprisonment period of 3 years, which can be extended up to 5 years. A fine up to Rs. 10 lakh can also be imposed.

An examination authority found guilty can be fined upwards of Rs. 1 crore. This is accompanied by a 5-year imprisonment that can be extended to 10 years.

Legislative Process

Public examinations are inclusive of examinations held by the central government, like the UPSC. This bill is set to be presented at the Rajya Sabha. It will then need clearance from the upper house. Afterwards, it will seek final approval from the president. If approved, authorities will amend the Criminal Law Ordinance. Authorities will do this to curtail unfair means in public examinations as a punishable offense.

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Objectives of the anti-cheating bill

The Central Government stated the goals of the anti-cheating bill. They include bringing transparency, justness, and credibility to the system. Additionally, it aims to ensure that the youth receive fair rewards for their efforts. The bill imposes legal punishment on groups, institutions, and people indulging in malpractices. They impact the public examination system for wrongful gain. These unfair practices lead to delays and cancellations of examinations. This, in turn, poses a threat to the prospects of millions of youth.

Current State for Malpractices

Currently, authorities have not allocated any laws to address such malpractices. They do not penalize the various entities committing these offenses. The center suggested that the state government could bring in its own bills.

Activities considered Unfair

The following activities are termed unfair by the new anti-cheating bill:

  1. Disclosing question papers or answer keys in advance.

  2. Participating in a group effort to disclose question papers or answer keys.

  3. Illegal access to question papers or answer sheets.

  4. providing answers to exam questions during the test.

  5. Offering assistance to candidates, either directly or indirectly, without permission.

  6. Altering answer sheets.

  7. The authority does not allow modifying assessments unless they approve it to correct errors.

  8. establishing norms and standards for public examinations.

  9. Fiddling with essential documents for the final merit list or candidate shortlisting.

  10. Intentionally disregarding security measures to facilitate cheating during exams.

  11. Tampering with computer networks or systems.

  12. Manipulating seating arrangements and shifts to facilitate cheating.

  13. Threatening or obstructing the public examination authority or exam processes.

  14. Establishing fake websites for fraudulent purposes.

  15. Organizing counterfeit exams, admit cards, or offer letters for fraudulent gain.

Consequences for Violators

Individuals found guilty of any listed unfair practices face non-bailable offenses. They are punishments of up to three to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh. Refusal to pay the fine may result in an extended prison sentence.

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Authorities may fine service providers, typically computer centers conducting online exams and aiding cheating, up to Rs 1 crore. They will also face a recovery of examination costs. A four-year ban on conducting public exams will also be imposed.

Operators of these centers may face fines of up to Rs 1 crore and a minimum three-year jail term, extendable to 10 years.

Examination authority members who cooperate with such activities may face a minimum fine of Rs 1 crore and imprisonment for up to five to 10 years.


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