NEET-UG row: NTA’s accountability will be fixed if lapses found, says Pradhan | Latest News India

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By Mahtab Ahmad

New Delhi: Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday said that the government will not tolerate any malpractices and irregularities in the conduct of competitive exams like NEET-UG, adding that even the accountability of the National Testing Agency (NTA) will also be fixed in cases lapses are found. 

Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan (File Photo)
Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan (File Photo)

“The government is committed to protecting the interests of NEET examinees. I want to assure that the government will not tolerate any irregularities and malpractice in the conduct of the medical examination. Anyone found guilty of involvement in such practices will be strictly punished. The ministry will also fix the accountability of the NTA. In case any lapses are found at the agency’s level, action will be taken. All concerns of students will be addressed with fairness and equity,” he said while speaking to media persons.

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Also Read: Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan calls NEET-UG paper leak charges baseless

Pradhan’s remarks come amid backlash from the opposition over the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) this year.

Pradhan reiterated that there is no concrete proof to establish the allegations of paper leaks during the NEET-UG exam this year. He also met some NEET aspirants and their parents on Friday and addressed their issues.

The Union education minister said that NEET-UG was held at over 4,500 centres and incorrect question distribution was reported from just six of them. “Just because of the six centres, we can’t question the sanctity and credibility of the entire system…,” he said.

On the increase in the number of top scorers and inflation of marks, Pradhan said that the number of aspirants has increased and has led to more competition. “Three lakh (300,000) more students have appeared for the NEET-UG exam this year in comparison to last year. Besides, the NTA has aligned the question papers with the rationalised NCERT syllabus and also with the syllabus of different state boards. It made the exam even more accessible for students, and we have seen more participation from rural areas as well,” he said. 

When asked if the government will take steps to bring some reforms in the way NTA conducts entrance, Pradhan said, “NTA is a competent agency. However, no institution is perfect, and we work on bringing reforms continuously.”

Also Read: NEET-UG row: Opposition spreading lies without knowing facts, says education minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Meanwhile, Congress’ media and publicity department head Pawan Khera on Friday said that the “NEET scam is Vyapam 2.0” and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government wants to whitewash it. 

“Can the education minister deny that a NEET-UG cheating racket has been busted in Gujarat’s Godhra involving three people, including a person who runs a coaching centre, a teacher and one another, wherein the investigation in the case has revealed transaction worth over 12 crore between students, their parents and the accused?” he said.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge claimed that the Modi government has started “covering up the NEET scam” through Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the NTA.

“If the paper was not leaked in NEET, then why were 13 accused arrested in Bihar? Did the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Patna police not expose the payment of Rs.30-50 lakh to the education mafia and organised gangs involved in the racket in exchange for papers?” he said in a post on X.

Reacting to Congress’ allegations, Pradhan said, “Some people do not like such an examination system in the country…The government will do things in a completely transparent manner, let them say whatever they say for political reasons…The Congress party has taken responsibility for spreading confusion in this country.”

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