New Anti-Paper Leak Law: Public Examination Act 2024

Public Examination Act 2024

New Delhi: In a significant move to curb paper leaks nationwide, the central government has enacted the Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act 2024. This legislation ensures transparency, fairness, and credibility in public examinations conducted by various authorities, including UPSC, SSC, Railways, Banking Recruitment Examinations, and the National Testing Agency (NTA).

Key Provisions of the Act:

  1. Stringent Penalties for Paper Leaks and Tampering:
  • Under the new law, leaking exam papers or tampering with answer sheets will result in a minimum jail term of three years.
  • The severity of the offense can extend the sentence by an additional five years, accompanied by fines of up to Rs 10 lakh.
  • Government officials involved in examination irregularities will face a minimum three-year sentence, which can be extended up to ten years.
  • A separate fine of Rs 1 crore can be imposed on offenders.
  • No provision for bail is available under this law.
  1. Institutional Accountability:
  • Institutions found involved in paper leaks will face strict consequences.
  • The law mandates the destruction of the institution’s property and recovery of the entire examination cost from the same institution.
  1. Investigation and Enforcement:
  • Only officers holding positions equal to or higher than the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) or Assistant Commissioner can investigate cases under this law.
Public Examination Act 2024

Importance of the Act:

The recent controversy surrounding the UGC-NET 2024 question paper leak underscores the urgency of this legislation. President Draupadi Murmu’s assent to the Act four months ago paved the way for its implementation. The Personnel Ministry issued a notification, setting June 21, 2024, as the date when the provisions of the Public Examination Act 2024 would come into force.