NEET: Govt Orders CBI Probe, Also Sets Up High-level Panel on Exam Reforms, NTA DG Subodh Singh Removed
Moneylife Digital Team 24 June 2024
Facing ire from students, parents and Opposition parties over alleged discrepancies in competitive exams, the Union government shunted Subodh Singh, the director general (DG) of the national testing agency (NTA).
 
The government also handed over the probe into irregularities in the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) undergraduate (UG) to the central bureau of investigation (CBI). 
 
The Union ministry of education also set up a seven-member panel headed by former ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan to review the agency's functioning and recommend exam reforms.
 
On Saturday, the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) postponed the NEET postgraduate (NEET PG) entrance, the fourth entrance exam to be impacted in recent days. The NEET PG was scheduled to be held on 23 June 2024. A fresh date will be announced at the earliest, MoHFW says.
 
While Pradeep Singh Kharola has been given additional charge of the post of DG of NTA, Mr Singh has been put on a 'compulsory wait' in the department of personnel and training (DoPT).
 
Meanwhile, a team from CBI is expected to visit Patna and may take those arrested in the NEET UG paper leak case to Delhi for questioning, say media reports.
 
Amid countrywide protests and litigations by students for a probe into the allegations of paper leak, and on a reference from the ministry of education, the CBI on Sunday registered a first information report (FIR) to investigate alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG medical entrance exam. 
 
So far, the economic offences unit (EOU) of the Bihar police has arrested 18 people in connection with the NEET UG paper leak case. 
 
Last week, the Supreme Court sought responses from the Union government, NTA, and others on petitions seeking the cancellation of this year's NEET UG examination, as well as a court-monitored probe into the alleged irregularities in the medical entrance exam. The apex court also issued a notice in the plea filed by NTA to transfer NEET cases pending before high courts (HCs) to the Supreme Court.
 
As reported by Moneylife, the results of this year's NEET announced by the NTA are full of surprises, including the total number of students who have scored perfect 720 marks, compared with less than five students hitting the mark over the years. Not just a very high number of toppers, the NEET result also shows six toppers without a surname who scored perfect marks by appearing for the examination from the same centre in Haryana, as per their roll number.
 
According to NTA, the 67 top rankers include 14 women students, and most of these toppers are from Rajasthan. It says 56.4% of the students have qualified for the exam conducted on 5 May 2024 at centres across the country and abroad. Over 2.4mn (million) students from 557 cities across India and 14 overseas locations appeared for this year's NEET exam. 
 
In a clarification, NTA says that due to the grace marks and normalisation process, some students received 718 or 719 marks. It says it received a few representations and court cases from students of NEET raising concerns regarding loss of time during the examination on 5 May 2024. (Read: Something Is Not NEET. 6 Toppers without a Surname Out of 67 Are from Same Centre in Haryana
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