Change at the top of NTA amid NEET controversy

Subodh Kumar Singh, the Director General of the National Testing Agency (NTA), was removed from his position on Saturday, June 22 amidst controversies surrounding NEET exam irregularities. The government placed Singh on a “compulsory wait” at the Department of Personnel and Training, according to a letter issued.

| Updated: 22 June, 2024 10:31 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Subodh Kumar Singh, the Director General of the National Testing Agency (NTA), was removed from his position on Saturday, June 22 amidst controversies surrounding NEET exam irregularities. The government placed Singh on a “compulsory wait” at the Department of Personnel and Training, according to a letter issued.

Pradeep Singh Kharola, Chairman and Managing Director of India Trade Promotion Organisation, has been given additional responsibility as NTA DG until the appointment of a regular successor or further instructions, as approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Saturday.

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Kharola, a 1985 batch Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, will temporarily lead the NTA, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education of India responsible for conducting various entrance exams including NEET and UGC-NET.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) faced scrutiny when the NEET medical exam results, originally scheduled for June 14, were unexpectedly released on June 4, coinciding with the Lok Sabha election results. Allegations suggested this timing was intended to mask potential instances of corruption and cheating. The controversy intensified with 67 candidates achieving a perfect score of 720 out of 720 marks, raising suspicions.

Subsequently, the NTA committee informed the Supreme Court that 1,563 students who had been awarded grace marks would have their results invalidated. These students will be given the option to retake the exam on June 23. On June 14, the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre and NTA in response to a plea for a CBI probe into allegations of question paper leaks and other irregularities in NEET UG 2024.

Amid the NEET controversy, the UGC-NET exam was canceled a day after its conduct on June 19. Similarly, the CSIR UGC NET exam, originally scheduled for June 25-27, was postponed, with new dates yet to be announced.

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