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NEET 2024 Row Live Updates

June 25, 2024

The recent controversy surrounding the NEET 2024 examinations has sparked significant concern among students, parents, and educators across the country. Allegations of paper leaks and other irregularities have called into question the integrity of the National Testing Agency (NTA) and the examinations it conducts, such as NEET UG and UGC NET. In response, the Education Ministry has taken swift action to address these issues and ensure a fair and transparent examination process.

Formation of the Seven-Member Panel

To tackle the challenges head-on, the Education Ministry has formed a seven-member panel led by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Radhakrishnan. This panel is tasked with seeking suggestions from students and parents on how to create a robust system of entrance examinations in the country. The goal is to develop a system that guarantees the transparent, smooth, and fair conduct of examinations through the NTA.

The panel held its first meeting at the IIT-Delhi campus on Monday, marking the beginning of its efforts to reform the NTA. The committee's formation underscores the government's commitment to restoring trust in the national examination system and addressing the grievances of stakeholders.

Investigations and Legal Actions

In addition to forming the panel, the central government has handed over the investigation into the NEET UG irregularities to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The Director General of the NTA has been removed as part of the initial steps to ensure accountability and transparency.

The CBI has already begun its investigation by collecting evidence from the Bihar Police. Prior to the CBI's involvement, the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the Bihar Police was handling the case. The CBI's probe extends to other states, including Gujarat and Rajasthan, indicating the widespread nature of the alleged malpractice.

In a related development, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra arrested a Zilla Parishad school principal from Latur and detained a teacher in connection with the paper leak case. These arrests highlight the seriousness of the issue and the authorities' determination to bring those responsible to justice.

Alternative Suggestions and Reforms

The controversy has also led to calls for significant changes in the examination system. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suggested the abolition of NEET in favor of state-level entrance examinations for medical admissions. This proposal reflects the growing demand for localized and potentially more secure examination processes.

Re-NEET Examination and Grace Marks Controversy

In a bid to address the immediate fallout of the irregularities, the NTA conducted a re-NEET examination on June 23 for 1,563 candidates who were initially awarded grace marks. Of these, 813 candidates (52 percent) took the re-exam. The center had previously announced the withdrawal of grace marks and offered affected candidates the option to be ranked based on their original scores without grace marks if they chose not to sit for the re-exam.

Moving Forward

The NEET 2024 row underscores the need for a comprehensive overhaul of the national examination system to prevent future incidents of malpractice and ensure the integrity of the process. The seven-member panel's efforts, combined with rigorous investigations and potential reforms, aim to restore confidence in the NTA and provide a fair platform for students nationwide.

As the panel gathers feedback and formulates its recommendations, the involvement of students, parents, and educators will be crucial in shaping a more robust and reliable examination system. The ultimate goal is to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed based on merit, free from the shadow of corruption and irregularities.