"NTA to be strengthened": Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan amid row over NEET-UG, UGC-NET | Competitive Exams - Hindustan Times
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"NTA to be strengthened": Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan amid row over NEET-UG, UGC-NET

ANI | , New Delhi
Jun 21, 2024 12:36 PM IST

The Education Minister also assured action against those responsible for the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the examinations.

Amid an ongoing row over the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate 2024 (NEET-UG) and the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET), Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan asserted to further strengthen the National Testing Agency by "reconsidering important things."

"NTA to be strengthened": Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan amid row over NEET-UG, UGC-NET
"NTA to be strengthened": Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan amid row over NEET-UG, UGC-NET

The Education Minister also assured action against those responsible for the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the examinations.

Speaking to ANI on Thursday, Pradhan said, "In a democracy, everyone has their views. It is our job to listen to everyone. Our responsibility is to run a process-driven government, it is our responsibility to speak the truth and accept truth. Few students have doubts about NTA (National Testing Agency) and we will have to accept this."

"The government has decided to form a committee and experts will be part of that committee. All the important things will be reconsidered and the NTA will be strengthened further. Those who are responsible for it (discrepancies) will be held accountable," he said.

The Education Minister earlier announced the formation of a high-level committee to probe into the issues pertaining to the functioning of NTA.

"We are committed to holding zero-error exams, and a high-level committee is being formed to improve NTA functioning," Pradhan said at a briefing earlier on Thursday.

Pradhan, while speaking to ANI on the issues, said that the solution was found to the "main issue" regarding grace marks in the NEET-UG exam.

"Regarding NEET, the first discrepancy that came to light was regarding the grace mark, due to some procedural mismanagement. A fear spread, a few students got agitated and people went to court. Later, NTA (National Testing Agency) kept a new petition before the court so that a reexamination of those students who got grace marks could be conducted. So a solution was found to the main issue related to NEET," he said.

"Then, a few issues from Patna came to light, and due to timely intervention, all, those who were behind it were caught, further probe is underway. Bihar government officials and central government officials are working together to take it to a logical end," the Education Minister told ANI.

Pradhan declined to comment on Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's swipe at the central government over the issue, saying, "I don't find it appropriate to comment anything on that today."

"I have the responsibility of the education department. I assure the students, that I understand your situation and we will try to find solutions to it. Our govt is responsible for it. Have faith," the Education Minister said.

Hitting out at the NDA government at the Centre over the NEET-UG and UGC-NET issues, Rahul Gandhi earlier on Thursday alleged that the reason behind the paper leaks is because all the Vice-Chancellors and the education system have been captured by the BJP's "parent organisation" (RSS).

Rahul Gandhi said that paper leaks would continue until this "institutional capture" by the BJP is not reversed and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "facilitating" this capture. "This is an anti-national activity because this is the future of the country and the youth of the country are facing the brunt of it," the Congress MP said.

"Silence (of government) is because the PM is crippled. Right now, the PM's main agenda is the (election of) Speaker. He is bothered about his government and the Speaker. The PM has psychologically collapsed and he will struggle to run a government like this," he added.

The Education Minister said that a CBI inquiry has been initiated to look into the UGC-NET exam issue, which has already been cancelled.

" I want to assure the students, this is your government. Have faith, the interest of students is key to us. Yesterday evening, IC4 gave input on UGC-NET, saying that there is a possibility that the exam was compromised. We looked into it and we also felt that the exam was compromised. We cancelled the exam and initiated a CBI inquiry," Pradhan told ANI.

Amid the massive uproar, the Education Ministry cancelled the UGC-NET exam held on June 18, saying its integrity may have been compromised and that it wouldn't hesitate to take action against anyone.

The NEET-UG 2024 exam was conducted on May 5 and the results were declared on June 4, ahead of its scheduled announcement date of June 14. Protests were held, alleging irregularities and paper leaks, as the results showed that as many as 67 students had topped the exam with a perfect score of 720.

The NEET-UG examination, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), is for admission to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country. (ANI)

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