New UP law targets exam paper leaks, solver gangs.


Amid a row over irregularities in key entrance exams, NEET and UGC-NET, the Uttar Pradesh government will bring a new law to stop paper leaks and rein in ‘solver gangs’. In the new law, there will be a provision for the strictest action against people involved in activities like paper leaks and gangs solving examination papers. There will be provisions for heavy fines, bulldozer action and even jail.

The Yogi Adityanath-led government’s announcement comes just days after the National Testing Agency (NTA) cancelled the UGC-NET (University Grants Commission – National Eligibility Test) exam. The Union Education Minister said that the question paper for the exam was found to have been leaked on darknet.

Apart from this, the NEET is also under scanner for alleged irregularities. Against this backdrop, the UP government has announced that they would bring in a new law to ensure the integrity of the examination process. Additionally, the government has announced a new policy to stop paper counting. Each examination shift will feature at least two different sets of papers, printed by separate agencies. Paper coding procedures will also be more systematically organised. Only government secondary schools, degree colleges, universities, polytechnics, engineering colleges, medical colleges, or reputable, well-funded educational institutions with clean records will be designated as examination centers. These centers will be equipped with CCTV systems, and four distinct agencies will be responsible for different aspects of conducting recruitment tests.

Candidates will be required to travel outside their home divisions to take the exams. However, this restriction will not apply to disabled individuals and women. If there are more than 4 lakh candidates, the examination will be conducted in two phases.The Provincial Civil Service exam may be held in a single shift. To prevent tampering with results, the scanning of OMR sheets will be conducted by the Commission and the Board themselves. The question papers will include secret codes and confidential security features, such as unique barcodes, QR codes, and serial numbers on each page, to ensure traceability.

The transportation of question papers will involve tamper-proof, multi-layer packaging. Sufficient time will be allotted for setting the papers, and the printing agencies will be regularly inspected by the controller of examinations. The selection of printing presses will be conducted with utmost confidentiality. Visitors to the press will be screened, and ID cards will be mandatory. Outsiders will not be permitted access to the press.

A complete ban on carrying smartphones and cameras within the press will be enforced. CCTV cameras will be installed around the press, with recordings maintained for one year.


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