Issue of Cheating in Exams in India: Challanges & Solutions

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Issue of Cheating in Exams in India

Source-This post on Cheating scandals in India Challanges & Solutions has been created based on the article “Leaked papers and cheating scandals: How to fix India’s exams” published in “The Indian Express” on 1 March 2024.

UPSC SyllabusGS Paper 2- Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education.

News – The article discusses the employment of unfair means in examination process in India and how can it be minimized. Issue of Cheating in Exams in India

Background – UP government has ordered the cancellation of the UP Police Constable Recruitment Examination-2023 after allegations of paper leak.

What are the provisions of The Public Examinations Prevention of Unfair Means Act?

The act imposes severe penalties on persons resorting to unfair means.They will be imprisoned for not less than 3 years whereas the service providers (who conduct the exam on behalf of the government) are liable for fines upto Rs 1 crore, apart from prison sentences.

A detailed article on Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill 2024 can be read here.

What is the limitation of statutory measures taken by government?

1) Low conviction rate-Many states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, AP and Odisha have legislation that criminalizes cheating.However,there have been no convictions so far under these Acts.

What are the challenges in conducting exams in India?

1) Off-line examination: –

a) Logistical Issue-There are loopholes in setting question papers and their printing and transport to examination canters.

b) Lack of auditing-These processes are not audited by any knowledgeable agency.

2) Online examination: –

a) Lack of effective evaluation-The authorities have started outsourcing the conduct of online exams to service providers. The technology provided by them is not adequately tested.

b) Vulnerability to cyber-attack-There is inadequate knowledge or expertise in the government machinery to test the robustness of the IT systems being deployed. This leaves the system vulnerable to hackers and organized cyber criminals.


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What is the way forward?

1) Diminish the importance of exams– There are high premiums like social recognition and rewards attached with qualification of exams, so there is a need to reduce the importance of the examination itself. This will discourage cheating in examinations. For ex-admissions into the best foreign universities take the qualifying exam scores as just one of the inputs to decide the candidature of students.

2) Dedicated investigating body– There is a need to create a special investigation agency that has the power to investigate all types of examination offences and quickly bring culprits to justice.

Question for practice

Discuss the challenges and implications of the current examination system for students in India?

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