NEET row rages further after UGC-NET cancellation; students stage protests, opposition attacks govt


PTI, Jun 20, 2024, 7:15 PM IST

Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The outcry against alleged irregularities in the medical entrance exam NEET grew louder on Thursday with several student groups staging protests and opposition attacking the government saying the paper leaks are expansion of the Vyapam scam and future of candidates who appeared in these exams is being destroyed.

The cancellation of UGC-NET, amid the raging row over NEET, led to questions being raised over National Testing Agency’s (NTA) capability to conduct exams of larger magnitude.

The Ministry of Education said it is waiting for a report of Bihar Police’s Economic Offences Unit on alleged irregularities in conduct of NEET in Patna and will take further action on basis of that. The ministry also summoned NTA DG Subodh Kumar Singh to discuss the issue further.

The ministry on Wednesday cancelled UGC-NET conducted by the NTA following inputs that the integrity of the examination may have been compromised.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi held a press conference and launched a scathing attack on the government over the alleged irregularities in NEET and cancellation of UGC-NET and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “psychologically collapsed” post-elections and will struggle to run a government like this.

He said the main reason for paper leaks is that educational institutions have been captured by the BJP and its parent organisation RSS and paper leaks will not stop unless that is reversed.

“It was being said Prime Minister Modi stopped the Ukraine-Russia War and Israel-Gaza war, but he is either not able to stop exam paper leaks or doesn’t want to,” Gandhi said.

He claimed that during his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, thousands complained about paper leaks.

“There has been an expansion of idea of Vyapam to rest of country,” he said of the recent controversy while referring to the Vyapam examination and recruitment scam in Madhya Pradesh.

“Nothing should be done in arbitrary manner, rules that apply to one paper should apply to another,” Gandhi said.

More than two dozen students from different universities and members of various students’ groups were detained on Thursday while they were protesting against the cancellation of the UGC-NET examination and irregularities in the NEET.

The students were detained from outside the Ministry of Education as well as the Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s residence here in central Delhi.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Kumar Sinha claimed the arrested prime accused in the NEET “paper leak” is linked to officials associated with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, and demanded an investigation into it.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged the Centre to take immediate steps to resolve the crisis in the NTA, saying its “repeated incompetence” in conducting exams such as NEET and the UGC-NET cannot be accepted.

Trinamool Congress MP Saket Gokhale said the examination process in the country has crashed and the lives of students are being destroyed. He accused the NTA of being complicit.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha said the NEET exam should also be cancelled.

“You had to scrap NET and you must scrap NEET now as there is ample proof that this examination was compromised. And it is time to acknowledge that the NTA is a fraud,” he said.

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