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NEET Exam Row: Centre Appoints Committee to Review NTA Functioning

NEET Exam Row: Centre Appoints Committee to Review NTA Functioning

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NEW DELHI, June 20: Amidst controversy over alleged paper leak and students’ agitation demanding cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 test, the Centre on Thursday formed a high-level committee to review the functioning of National Testing Agency (NTA) amid the allegations of irregularities during the medical entrance examination.
“We are committed to holding zero-error exams, and a high-level committee is being formed to improve NTA functioning,” the union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at a briefing.
“Recommendations will be expected from that high-level committee to further improve NTA, its structure, functioning, examination process, transparency and data security protocol. Strict action will be taken against any official of NTA if found guilty,” he said. “I want to assure everyone that the government is committed to protecting students’ rights. We will not compromise with transparency,” the minister said.
“We have received inputs from the Bihar government about NEET examination. Patna Police is investigating the matter and they will soon send a detailed report to the Government of India. Preliminary information indicates that errors were limited to a specific region,” Pradhan added. “Let us have faith in our systems; no irregularities or malpractices will be tolerated by govt. We take responsibility, have to rectify system,” the minister said.
The NEET examination, conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions in India, has been mired in controversy. The examination was held on May 5 across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates appeared for it. The results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced on June 4, saying the evaluation of the answer sheets got completed earlier.

However, at least 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA’s history, with six from one centre in Haryana’s Faridabad figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Bihar Police had last month arrested 13 people as part of its investigation into the alleged paper leak in NEET-UG 2024. The arrested accused included examinees, their parents and alleged mastermind Sikander Prasad Yadvendu.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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