The Centre on Friday notified a stringent law that aims to curb malpractices and irregularities in competitive exams. The move comes amid the irregularities in the NEET-UG and UGC-NET examinations that stirred a nationwide controversy. 

The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024 was given assent by President Droupadi Murmu nearly four months ago after which the Personnel Ministry issued a notification on Friday night saying the provisions of the law will come into force from June 21.

Here are some of the important provisions of the law:

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As per the law, those caught using unfair means during the exam will have to serve a jail term of at least three years which may be extended to five years and a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh. In case the fine is not paid, the jail term may be extended. 

The testing agency or the “service provider” will also face a fine of up to a crore rupees and a proportionate cost of examination shall be recovered from them. If the law states, that the testing agency may also be barred from holding any public exam for four years. 

Under the provisions of the law, anyone from the senior management found involved will be awarded a jail term of three years, which may be extended up to 10 years. A fine of ₹ 1 crore may also be imposed on them. 

The provisions will not be applicable to a person who will be able to prove that the offence was committed without his knowledge and that he tried his best to prevent it. 

A person or a “service provider”, whoever commits an organised crime will face imprisonment of at least five years,  which may be extended to 10 years, along with a fine of at least Rs 1 crore. 

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