Amid the NEET-NET row, the government removed the head of the examination body.

The move comes hours after a committee was formed to make recommendations to improve the agency.

New Delhi:

Facing protests in several parts of the country as well as attacks from the opposition, the Center has removed the head of the National Testing Agency (NTA) from his post amid the controversy over alleged irregularities in NEET-UG and cancellation of the UGC. NET Exam.

In a statement on Saturday, the Ministry of Personnel announced that Subodh Kumar Singh, who was the Director General of NTA, has been replaced by retired Indian Administration Service (IAS) officer Pradeep Singh Kharula. Mr. Kharula is the Chairman and Managing Editor of the India Trade Promotion Organization and has been given additional charge as Director General of NTA “until the appointment of a regular officer or until further orders”.

The move comes hours after the government constituted a committee that will make recommendations to improve the functioning of the agency and a day before nearly 1,500 students who were given grace marks for NEET-UG, again. Will take the test.

The CSIR UGC NET exam – scheduled to be held from June 25 to June 27 – also had to be postponed on Friday due to “logistical reasons” and the NEET-PG exam, which was scheduled for Sunday, was delayed on Saturday. went.

Sources told NDTV that repeated allegations of leakages in examinations conducted by the NTA and a wave of anger among students along with the inconvenience caused to them have weakened Mr. Singh's position. . Pressure from a resurgent opposition, as well as adverse remarks by the Supreme Court against the NTA, also played a role in the decision.

The move is also part of the National Testing Agency's promised overhaul, which Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has also talked about. Sources said that in a recent Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Mr. Pradhan to take action, and now the crackdown has begun.

Punish the guilty

He said that now the government's priority is to get to the bottom of the alleged paper leaks and bring the culprits to justice. This is especially important as NTA conducts several key exams, including NEET and JEE, which are attended by lakhs of students. The Supreme Court is also scheduled to hear the petitions on July 8.

Earlier on Saturday, the government had constituted a seven-member committee to look into ways to improve the functioning of the NTA. The panel will be led by Dr K Radhakrishnan, former ISRO chief and current chairperson of the Board of Governors of IIT Kanpur, with former AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria as a member.

After the formation of the committee, Mr. Pradhan said that this is the first step towards improving the efficiency of the examination process.

“Transparent, tamper-free and zero-error examinations is a commitment. Setting up a high-level committee of experts is the first step towards improving the efficiency of the examination process, eliminating all possible malpractices, strengthening the data security protocol. And amending and reforming the NTA and its bright future will always be our government's top priority.

Mess gets messier.

Around 2.4 lakh students appeared for the NEET-UG 2024 for undergraduate medical courses, which is conducted by the National Testing Agency on May 5. More than 1,500 students were protested by Grace Marks. Cases have also been filed in courts including the Supreme Court, which has raped the NTA.

On Wednesday, the education ministry had canceled the UGC-NET exam, which was conducted by the NTA, just a day after it was held. More than 9 lakh candidates appeared for the exam to determine eligibility for Assistant Professor posts and Junior Research Fellowships in universities and colleges. Mr. Pradhan had said that the UGC Chairman had received information from the Cyber ​​Crime Team in the Ministry of Home Affairs about queries on the darknet.

CSIR UGC NET – similar to UGC NET, but for science students – was postponed to Friday and NEET PG was pushed back to Saturday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which won 232 seats in the recently held Lok Sabha elections and prevented the BJP from getting a majority on its own, has also been attacking the Center on the issue.

On Saturday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is gearing up to make her election debut, posted on X: “Under the BJP government, NTA has become a trust agency and the exams have become a terrible tragedy. Millions of hard working children and parents are suffering from this tragedy presented by the BJP and when will the Education Committee take responsibility.

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