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Congress, Trinamool MPs support Centre's bill on paper leaks; call for more stringent norms

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) Opposition parties Congress and Trinamool Congress supported the Centre's Public Examinations (Preventions of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 in Rajya Sabha on Friday but called for more stringent norms and strict implementation of measures to prevent incidence of paper leaks and other malpractices.

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Congress member Digvijaya Singh and Aam Aadmi Party member Sandeep Kumar Pathak also cited Vyapam case of Madhya Pradesh during discussion on the bill.

"I, in-principle, support Public Examinations (Preventions of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024 because in the last few years, the impartial exams that should take place, has become a very big business - paper leak and manipulations during online examinations," Singh said.

He said numbers are increased after the results of online exams are declared in the name of normalisation.

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"The biggest scam in state examination and recruitment took place in Vyapam in Madhya Pradesh. Those who paid money for admission of their children were sent to jail but those who took money illegally for admission are still roaming free. Fundamentally, there should action against corruption," he said.

Singh further said education is a concurrent subject and the Centre has the right to include state examinations also within the ambit of the bill.

BJP MP Prakash Javadekar said no society can progress that does not honour merit.

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He expressed concern over paper leaks in the states and lamented that corruption has become institutionalised.

Trinamool Congress member Abir Ranjan Biswas supported the bill but said passing the bill alone will not solve the problem. He called for strict implementation of the provisions of the bill.

DMK member P Wilson said the bill applies to NEET also but the question is if there is need for any such examination.

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"NEET's introduction has brought Dr Ambedkar's fear into life. Under the garb of raising education, they made it impossible, if not, close to impossible for the students belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and OBCs undertaking medical education. NEET has become a booming business for coaching centres which capitalise upon students dream to become doctor which only affluent people can afford," he said.

NEET's coaching centres are generating income around Rs 5000 crore, which shows coaching centres are an industry by itself, he alleged.

"This has forced some of the students to take extreme steps such as resorting to malpractice while some students commit suicide," Wilson said.

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He said there was a NEET Exemption bill but the concerned minister has not replied to his Parliament question on its status.

AAP member Sandeep Kumar Pathak also cited the example of Vyapam and alleged that the malpractice has become a business.

He made certain allegations for which G V L Narasimha Rao, who was presiding over the House, asked for evidence and directed him to authenticate the allegation by end of the day.

"If Mr Pathak does not submit evidence, if he does not authenticate what he has stated in the House, I think it will not become a part of the record. I further state that this should not go in either social media or media. If it goes, then, this becomes a matter of privilege of this House," Rao said.

BJD's Muzibulla Khan, CPI (M)'s V Sivadasan, AIADMK's M Thambidurai, YSRCP's Ayodhya Rami Reddy Alla, Congress's Amee Yajnik and BJP's Dinesh Sharma also participated in the discussion. PTI PRS PRS KSS KSS

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