IMA praises government response to NEET-UG 2024 exam controversy

The IMA commended the removal of the Director General of the National Testing Agency (NTA) and the appointment of Shri Pradeep Kumar Kharoka as the new Director General. “We extend our gratitude to the Ministry of Education for transferring the investigation of irregularities in the NEET-UG examination to the CBI for a thorough probe,” the IMA stated.

| Updated: 23 June, 2024 7:55 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other key ministers for their decisive actions in addressing concerns over the NEET-UG 2024 examination irregularities. In a press release, the IMA welcomed the government’s decision to transfer the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The IMA commended the removal of the Director General of the National Testing Agency (NTA) and the appointment of Shri Pradeep Kumar Kharoka as the new Director General. “We extend our gratitude to the Ministry of Education for transferring the investigation of irregularities in the NEET-UG examination to the CBI for a thorough probe,” the IMA stated.

The NEET-UG exam, held on May 5 in OMR (pen and paper) mode, faced allegations of cheating, impersonation, and other malpractices, prompting demands for a retest. The Ministry of Education confirmed that the CBI would take over FIRs registered in various states and assume custody of individuals arrested by state police. “For transparency in the examination process, the Ministry of Education, after a review, has decided to entrust the matter to the CBI for a comprehensive investigation,” the ministry said.

ALSO READ: CBI registers case on NEET-2024 irregularities, allegations

The IMA praised the enactment of stringent laws to combat exam malpractice, which include penalties of up to 10 years of imprisonment and a minimum fine of Rs 1 crore for offenders involved in organized examination crimes. “The present students are the future of India, and it is crucial that important competitive examinations are conducted with the utmost diligence and confidentiality,” the IMA emphasised.

 

Additionally, the Ministry of Education has formed a high-level committee led by former ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan. This committee will recommend reforms to ensure transparent, smooth, and fair conduct of exams, focusing on improvements in data security protocols and the NTA’s structure and functioning. The committee’s report is expected within two months.

The IMA also urged the government to expedite the counseling process for admissions in medical and dental courses to ensure timely commencement. “We hope for a safe and secure future for our next generations,” the IMA stated.

ALSO READ: Change at the top of NTA amid NEET controversy

The NEET-UG 2024 scandal follows other controversies involving national exams. The UGC NET exam was canceled a day after it was held due to question paper leaks, while the CSIR-UGC NET and NEET-PG exams have been postponed. In response, the central government has enacted the Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, aimed at preventing unfair practices in public examinations.

Approximately 24 lakh candidates participated in the NEET-UG 2024, held across 4,750 centers. The results were announced on June 4, ahead of schedule. However, reports of a paper leak in Bihar led to the arrest of seven individuals, including four candidates, who confessed to receiving the question paper a day before the exam.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated that the government would not jeopardise the future of thousands of aspirants due to a few “isolated incidents.”

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