Govt working on war footing to curb paper leaks, guilty won't be spared: PM Modi in LS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies to the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi, Tuesday, July 2, 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies to the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Parliament session, in New Delhi, Tuesday, July 2, 2024.

New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the government is working on a war footing to curb incidents of paper leaks, while asserting that those playing with the future of youngsters will not be spared.

The prime minister's comments came amid a raging row over alleged irregularities, including paper leaks, in competitive examinations such as the NEET and the NET. The opposition has been demanding a discussion on the issue in Parliament.

Replying to a two-day debate on the Motion of Thanks to the president's address to a joint sitting of Parliament, Modi said arrests are being made across the country in connection with the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) issue.

"The president expressed concerns about paper leaks in her address. I also want to tell students and youngsters that the government is serious about controlling such incidents and we are taking back-to-back steps on a war footing to fulfil our responsibilities," he said.

"Those playing with the future of youngsters will not be spared, arrests are being made across the country in the NEET issue. The Centre has already framed strict laws and important steps are being taken to strengthen the entire system of conducting examinations," the prime minister added.

Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi wrote to Modi earlier in the day, requesting the prime minister to facilitate a debate on the NEET issue in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Gandhi said the opposition's request to discuss the issue related to the medical entrance exam was denied in both houses of Parliament on June 28 as well as on Monday and added that the Lok Sabha speaker had assured the opposition that he would discuss the matter with the government.

In the line of fire over the alleged irregularities in the NEET and the PhD entrance NET, the Centre removed National Testing Agency (NTA) Director General Subodh Singh last week and notified a high-level panel headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief R Radhakrishnan to ensure a transparent, smooth and fair conduct of examinations through the NTA.

While the NEET is under the scanner over several irregularities, including alleged paper leaks, the UGC-NET was cancelled as the education ministry received inputs that the integrity of the exam was compromised. Both matters are being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Two other exams -- CSIR-UGC NET and NEET-PG -- were cancelled as a preemptive step.

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