“Swift Action Promised”: Education Ministry’s Stand on Scrapping NET Exam

Amidst the uproar surrounding the cancellation of the UGC-NET exam, the Education Ministry has asserted that the decision was made to safeguard its integrity and has vowed to swiftly pursue those responsible.

Govind Jaiswal, joint secretary in the Education Ministry, disclosed to the media that the exam, which attracted over 1.1 million registrants, was annulled based on alerts from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre. Initially held on Tuesday, the exam was promptly scrapped the following day.

“The matter has been escalated to the CBI for a comprehensive investigation. Plans for a fresh examination are in motion, with details set to follow soon,” he assured.

Jaiswal underscored the Ministry’s commitment to take decisive action against any misconduct. “Given the ongoing investigation, specific details cannot be divulged at this stage. The NTA has its protocols, and multiple stakeholders are involved in the process, all of which are under scrutiny,” he elaborated.

The National Testing Agency, responsible for conducting the exam, has come under scrutiny for alleged irregularities in the NEET exam for medical college admissions, which saw participation from 2.4 million candidates. Reports of these irregularities have ignited widespread protests and calls for a re-evaluation.

In addressing concerns about the change to an OMR (pen and paper) format from previous methods, Jaiswal attributed the decision to insights gained from four years of NTA operations and consultations with stakeholders.

UGC-NET serves as a crucial evaluation for aspiring assistant professors and research fellowship candidates in universities and colleges. The Education Ministry’s directive to cancel Tuesday’s exam came amidst apprehensions about its integrity.

The cancellation of UGC-NET, amidst ongoing protests against NEET, has fueled Opposition parties’ criticisms of the Narendra Modi-led government ahead of the upcoming parliamentary session.

The Congress has labeled the NDA government under Modi as the “paper leak government,” while other parties within the INDIA bloc, such as the Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), have also voiced strong disapproval of the government’s handling of these two pivotal exams.

Shruti Suman

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