NEET-UG irregularities: CBI to rush teams to Bihar, Gujarat; file FIR today | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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NEET-UG irregularities: CBI to rush teams to Bihar, Gujarat; file FIR today

ByNeeraj Chauhan
Jun 23, 2024 02:41 PM IST

The Centre on Saturday shunted the National Testing Agency (NTA) chief, Subodh Kumar Singh, and replaced him with Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Pradeep Singh Kharola

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will rush teams to Bihar and Gujarat on Sunday to probe a “larger conspiracy” in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate or NEET-UG exam, with Union education ministry saying the May 5 exam was marred by irregularities, cheating, impersonation and other malpractices, people familiar with the development. 

Students stage a protest against ongoing NEET UG and NET examination row (File Photo)
Students stage a protest against ongoing NEET UG and NET examination row (File Photo)

The federal anti-corruption probe agency is also expected to file its first information report (FIR) based on the education ministry’s complaint by afternoon, they said. 

The central government, handing the probe to the CBI, in a statement Saturday late evening, said, “For transparency on the conduct of the examination process, the ministry of education, the government of India after a review has decided to entrust the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation for comprehensive investigation.” 

“We will investigate a larger conspiracy and common links in these leaks. Our teams are going to places where these (leak) incidents have been reported and are being investigated locally,” said a senior CBI officer, who did not want to be named. 

The Bihar Police has been investigating a NEET-UG paper leak matter since last month and has even arrested over a dozen persons. Subsequently, Gujarat police arrested half a dozen individuals, including the head of a coaching centre in connection with alleged cheating at an examination centre for NEET-UG in Godhra

Some detentions made by Maharashtra police in NEET-related irregularities are also being watched and CBI may send a team there as well if required, this person said. 

The agency is already investigating the leak of the UGC-NET 2024 question paper, which was being sold on the darknet and messaging app Telegram, since Thursday. 

Moreover, facing flak over discrepancies in the competitive exams, the Centre also shunted the National Testing Agency (NTA) chief, Subodh Kumar Singh, and replaced him with Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Pradeep Singh Kharola. 

Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan also said on Saturday that the top leadership of NTA was under the scanner. 

The government has also formed a seven-member committee to comprehensively review the structure, processes and working of the NTA. 

NTA conducts a bevy of higher education and research screening tests but has, in the last week, been at the centre after the country’s crucial medical education screening test NEET was mired in allegations of leaked question papers, flawed scoring, and cheating, and another crucial examination for academic research recruitment (NET) was scrapped after its questions were leaked onto the dark web. 

Students and political parties have held protests over the matter in recent weeks, and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to face heat from the Opposition in parliament that convenes next week.

The NTA is conducting the NEET UG re-examination for the 1,563 candidates who were affected by time loss today, on Sunday (June 23). The re-exam, which began at 2pm will end by 5:20pm.

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