- Academic cheating has become a major problem in many countries, including India.
- To address this issue, the State of Uttarakhand in northern India has recently enacted new anti-copying laws to curb cheating in exams.
- We will take a closer look at India’s strictest Anti-Copying Law which has come into force in Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand Competitive Examination (Measures for Prevention of Unfair Means in Recruitment) Ordinance
- The new anti-cheating law in Uttarakhand is legislation that aims to reduce cheating during exams and promote fairness in the educational system.
- This comes after the UKPSC paper leak which led to cancellation of exams for around 1.4 lakh government job aspirants and to understand the implications of this law.
- 10 year ban: Under `Anti-copying law’, candidates involved in cheating will be punished and a `ban of 10 years` will be imposed on them.
- Fine and imprisonment: There is a provision to impose a fine of 10 crore along with life imprisonment or 10 years in jail for the copycat mafia.
- Property confiscation: Apart from this, there is also a provision to attach the property of the copying mafia.
Need for the law
- Integrity of the educational system: It undermines the integrity of the education system and the value of educational qualifications, and it also detracts from students’ learning experiences.
- Prevent opportunism: The laws aim to ensure that students can obtain their qualifications through honest and fair means and to promote a culture of academic integrity.
- Create level playing field: The objective of the law is to create a level playing field for all students and ensure that educational achievements are based on merit and hard work rather than cheating.
Issues with academic cheating/copying
- Induces culture of Dishonesty: Cheating encourages a culture of dishonesty and opportunism, leading to a lack of respect for the academic process and for the institution as a whole.
- Compromises merit: The new laws were introduced in response to concerns about the high levels of academic dishonesty in the State and the negative impact it has on the education system and society as a whole.
- Promotes imposters: Cheating and copying can lead to a lack of understanding of the subject, which can lead to poor performance at work.
- Curse for the talent: Cheating undermines the educational system. It devalues the hard work of those who have studied and learned the material legitimately.
- Unfair advantage: Exam cheating gives students an unfair advantage over those who choose to work hard and study for their exams. This puts those who don’t cheat at a disadvantage and can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration.
- False sense of accomplishment: Cheating and copying can lead to a false sense of accomplishment, as students may not learn the material fully and may perform poorly on exams or assignments.
- Discourages hardwork: Cheating can lead to a lack of motivation, as students may not feel the need to work hard and learn when they know they can simply copy or cheat.
- Lack of personal growth: Cheating on an exam does not help students learn or grow, as it does not provide any real understanding of the material. It also does not help students develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their academic and professional careers.
- May lead to dropouts: Cheating erodes the trust between faculty and students, as faculty may become suspicious and less willing to invest in their students.
Benefits provided by the Law
The new anti-cheating law in Uttarakhand is a step in the right direction, for it provides several benefits:
- Fairness and integrity: The law aims to reduce instances of cheating and promote fairness in the educational system. By imposing severe punishments on those who cheat, it creates a level playing field for all students and ensures that educational achievements are based on merit and hard work.
- Credibility of the educational system: The new law helps to maintain the credibility of the educational system and ensures that educational degrees and certificates are recognised as legitimate and reflective of actual knowledge and skills.
- Discouragement of cheating: By imposing severe punishments on those who cheat, the law is intended to discourage cheating and promote a culture of honesty and hard work. This can lead to an overall improvement in the quality of education in the state.
- Increased value of educational achievements: With fewer instances of cheating, the value of educational achievements are expected to increase. This can improve the job prospects of students and increase the overall competitiveness of the state’s workforce.
- Improving academics quality: Many schools and colleges are now taking steps to improve the quality of education and reduce students’ stress levels in best possible manner.
- Broader message: In addition to addressing the issue of academic cheating, the new anti-copying laws in Uttarakhand are also having a wider impact on the education system in the entire nation. The new laws are also helping to promote a more ethical and responsible attitude among students, both in Uttarakhand and in other parts of India
Criticisms of the legislation
- Coercive punishments: Some students and parents have criticised the laws, arguing that they are too harsh and that they unfairly penalise students. We as a nation pardon death penalty but attenuate such petty mistakes.
- Doesn’t address root cause of cheating: They also argue that the laws do not address the root causes of cheating, such as the lack of quality education and the high level of stress and competition faced by students.
- Performance pressure on marginalized students: The new law could lead to some unintended consequences, such as increased pressure on students to perform well and avoid cheating, which could negatively impact their mental health and well-being.
- Taking all stakeholders to table: In the long term, the success of the laws will depend on the ability of educators, students, and parents to work together to create a supportive and ethical learning environment that values knowledge, hard work, and integrity.
- Provide quality education: This requires a commitment to providing quality education, reducing the stress level faced by students, and promoting a positive and ethical attitude among students and other members of the education community.
- Address mental health of students: It is important to ensure that the law is implemented in a way that strikes a balance between promoting fairness and protecting the well-being of students. Ex. Pariksha pe Charcha by PM.