After NEET row NET also in trouble; Government cancels UGC-NET exam

Amid a row on the medical entrance exam NEET over irregularities, Education Ministry ordered cancellation of UGC-NET conducted by the National Testing Agency following inputs that the integrity of the examination may have been compromised.
After NEET row NET also in trouble; Government cancels UGC-NET exam

New Delhi | The Education Ministry on Wednesday ordered the cancellation of UGC-NET conducted by the National Testing Agency following inputs that the integrity of the examination may have been compromised and the matter has been handed over to the CBI for a thorough investigation, officials said.

The decision by the Ministry comes amid a massive row on the medical entrance exam NEET over alleged irregularities, with the issue now before the Supreme Court.

In a shift from earlier practice, the National Eligibility Test (NET) was conducted in pen and paper mode this time on a single day -June 18- with a record 11 lakh students registering for the exam.

A fresh examination shall be conducted, for which information shall be shared separately, a senior Ministry of Education (MoE) official said.

UGC-NET is a test to determine the eligibility of Indian nationals for the award of junior research fellowship, for appointment as Assistant Professor and admission to PhD in Indian universities and colleges

"The UGC received certain inputs from the National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs on the Examination. These inputs prima-facie indicate that the integrity of the aforesaid examination may have been compromised," the senior official said.

"To ensure the highest level of transparency and sanctity of the examination process, it has been decided that the UGC-NET June 2024 examination be cancelled.

"A fresh examination shall be conducted, for which information shall be shared separately. Simultaneously, the matter is being handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for thorough investigation in the matter," the official added.

NEET paper leak row: Education ministry seeks report from Bihar police's Economic Offences Unit

New Delhi | The Union education ministry sought a report from the Bihar Police's Economic Offences Unit on Wednesday regarding alleged irregularities in the conduct of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (UG) 2024 in Patna, officials said.

There have been allegations of question paper leaks in states like Bihar and other irregularities in the prestigious exam. The allegations have led to protests in several cities and the filing of petitions in several high courts as well as the Supreme Court.

"Regarding certain irregularities alleged in the conduct of the examination in Patna, a detailed report has been sought from the Economic Offences Unit, Bihar Police. The government will take further action on receipt of this report," a senior official of the ministry said.

"The government is committed to ensuring the sanctity of examinations and protect the interest of students. It is reiterated that any individual or organisation found involved in this matter will face the strictest action," the official added.

Observing that students have to work hard while preparing for these examinations, the apex court has said the litigation pertaining to the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate)-2024 ought not be treated as adversarial.

The Centre and the National Testing Agency on June 13 told the top court that they had cancelled the grace marks given to 1,563 candidates, who took the examination for admission to MBBS and other such courses.

The candidates will have the option to either take a retest or forgo the compensatory marks awarded to them for the loss of time, the Centre had said.

The examination was held on May 5 across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates appeared for it. Its results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced on June 4, apparently because the evaluation of the answer sheets was completed earlier.

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