CBI special team to probe NEET-UG exam irregularities

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The CBI has accordingly registered a criminal case and initiated an investigation….reports Asian Lite News

Amid the row over the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-Undergraduate and UGC-NET exams 2024, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday registered a criminal case for irregularities in the exam and formed special teams to probe the matter.

Early on Sunday, the central government entrusted the probe into the alleged irregularities in the NEET 2024 exam to the CBI.

As per the agency’s FIR, certain “isolated incidents” occurred in a few states during the conduct of the NEET (UG) 2024 examination which was held on May 5, 2024.

The CBI has accordingly registered a criminal case and initiated an investigation. Special teams have been formed by the CBI to investigate the matter on top priority. Special CBI teams are being sent to Patna and Godhra, where local police cases have been registered, the release said.

The NEET (UG) 2024 Examination was conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on May 5, 2024, at 4,750 centres in 571 cities, including 14 cities abroad, with over 23 lakh candidates appearing for the examination.

The release stated that the case has been registered upon the request of the Ministry of Education to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the entire gamut of alleged irregularities, including conspiracy, cheating, impersonation, breach of trust, and destruction of evidence by candidates, institutes, and middlemen, including attempted irregularities.

The Ministry has also requested the CBI for an investigation into the role of public servants, if any, connected with the conduct of the examination and also into the entire gamut of events and the larger conspiracy, it added.

The National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducted the NEET-UG exams, is facing criticism over alleged irregularities in the exams. This resulted in several protests across the country, with protestors and political parties demanding to disband the NTA. An unprecedented 67 candidates achieved a perfect score of 720 marks out of 720, which added to the concerns.

Opposition slams govt

Meanwhile, the opposition leaders have sharpened their attack on the central government over the alleged irregularities in the NEET exams.

Earlier today, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra lashed out at the Centre and claimed that under the BJP’s rule, the entire education system has been handed over to the “mafia” and the “corrupt”.

Taking to ‘X’, Vadra wrote, “NEET-UG:- paper leak, NEET-PG:- cancelled, UGC-NET:- cancelled, CSIR-NET:- Cancelled! Today this is the condition of some of the biggest examinations in the country. Under the BJP rule, the entire education system has been handed over to the mafia and the corrupt. The political stubbornness and arrogance of handing over the country’s education and the future of the children to greedy and sycophantic incompetent people have made paper leaks, cancellation of exams, disappearance of education from campuses and political hooliganism the identity of our education system.”

“The situation has become such that the BJP government cannot conduct even an examination fairly. Today, the BJP government has become the single biggest hurdle in front of the future of the youth. The capable youth of the country are wasting their precious time and energy in fighting the corruption of the BJP and the helpless Modi ji is just watching the spectacle”, she added.

Meanwhile, Congress workers in Jharkhand staged a protest over the alleged irregularities in the NEET exam.

Expressing their outrage, protesters burnt an effigy of the Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

CPM demands Pradhan’s resignation 

The CPI (M) on Sunday demanded the resignation of Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan over the allegation of irregularities and paper leaks in the NEET-UG 2024 examination. The party also called for the scrapping of the “centralised” NEET exams.

“The Politbureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is deeply anguished over the sinister developments which have engulfed the centralised all-India examination processes. Be it NEET-UG, UGC-NET and now NEET-PG which has been postponed indefinitely in anticipation of what obviously was waiting to happen. The combined impact of this are irregularities and complete collapse of the processes which affect vital sectors of higher education in the country,” the party said in a statement.

The statement said that the irregularities are not merely the result of corruption but also emerged from “centralisation, commercialisation and communication in the education sphere which is an essential ingredient of the National Education Policy”.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also demanded the resignation of the Union Education Minister, stating that there is an “education emergency” in the country.

“I would say there is an education emergency in this country, the rate at which exams are being cancelled, the rate at which the Education Minister is refusing to hold himself accountable. We are seeing how one paper after another is being postponed or cancelled. Dharmendra Pradhan had refused any inquiry regarding the NEET paper leak. Just transferring the NTA chairman will not work. As far as the Education Ministry is concerned, Dharmendra Pradhan will have to resign for being a complete failure”, Chaturvedi said.

DMK spokesperson Saravanan Annadurai slammed the government and said that almost 50 lakh people have been affected, and there has not been even a single word from the Prime Minister.

“BJP government is incompetent. It is allowing organised gangs to leak papers. Four high-quality exams have been cancelled. Almost 50 lakh students have been affected by the sheer criminal negligence of the BJP party. There is not even a single word from the PM,” Annadurai said.

Meanwhile, a total of 813 out of 1563 candidates appeared for the NEET-UG retest on Sunday, according to the National Testing Agency.

On the orders of the Supreme Court, the retest is being conducted for the affected candidates who had experienced time loss during the originally scheduled examination on May 5.

The re-conduct of the exam was announced following allegations of irregularities in NEET-UG, including paper leaks.

Amid allegations of irregularities in the conduct of entrance examinations, the National Testing Agency (NTA) claimed on Sunday that its website and all its web portals are fully secure.

The NTA further dismissed the allegations of the portals being compromised, calling them “wrong and misleading.”

“NTA website and all its web portals are fully secure. Any information that has been compromised and hacked is wrong and misleading,” the NTA said in a post on ‘X’.

Amid the NEET irregularities allegations, the Centre postponed the NEET-PG exam a day ahead of its scheduled date and cancelled the UGC-NET exam conducted on June 18. (ANI)

ALSO READ: ‘Mega scam’: Oppn slams Centre over UGC-NET, NEET rows

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