Uttar Pradesh passes ordinance against question paper leaks

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday passed an ordinance to prevent paper leaks and use of unfair means in examinations, The Indian Express reported.

This comes against the backdrop of mounting pressure on the government over the alleged irregularities in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test and the cancellation of other competitive examinations, including the National Eligibility Test.

Under the Uttar Pradesh Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Ordinance, those involved in paper leaks will face jail terms ranging from two years to life imprisonment and fines of up to Rs 1 crore. It also includes provisions for the attachment of properties of those involved in paper leaks.

The distribution of fake question papers and fake employment websites has also been made punishable.

The ordinance covers exams conducted by the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission, Uttar Pradesh Subordinates Service Selection Board, Uttar Pradesh Board, state universities, and authority, bodies, or agencies nominated by them, The Indian Express reported, quoting an unidentified government spokesperson.

The offences under the ordinance have been made cognizable and non-bailable with strict provisions for bail. The offences will be tried by sessions courts and will be non-compoundable.

It also has provisions under which the financial loss caused by the cancellation of examination due to paper leaks or unfair practices will be recovered from those found involved in the offences.

The companies and service providers found guilty of adversely affecting examinations will be forever blacklisted.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had announced that after the Lok Sabha elections, a strict law would be enacted to prevent paper leaks and crackdown on gangs involved in such activities.

Also read: How a messaging app that helps students prepare for exams enabled paper leaks

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