Vidya Bharti pitches for change in current pattern of competitive exams to prevent paper leaks

Vidya Bharti pitches for change in current pattern of competitive exams to prevent paper leaks

New Delhi | Amid the backdrop of the NEET-UG paper leak row, the RSS-linked Vidya Bharti on Thursday pitched for changes in the current "pattern" of competitive examinations to prevent recurrence of such incidents and also put to an end candidates' dependency on coaching institutes.

Replying to questions at a press conference here, Vidya Bharti Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Sansthan chairperson D Ramakrishna Rao expressed "concern" over the alleged NEET-UG paper leak and said the current examination system should be changed to assess the "competence, aptitude, attitude and Intelligence Quotient", not just memory of the candidates appearing for various competitive exams.

"There should be reforms in conducting these kinds of exams. Our examination pattern should be summarily transformed along the lines of institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The examination system of IITs is foolproof," he told reporters.

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions.

Rao suggested changes should also be brought in the evaluation methods and pitched for introduction of an open-book examination system for competitive examinations designed to test the candidates' "competence, aptitude, attitude and Intelligence Quotient".

"Candidates may be provided with question banks, say 2,000 questions, in advance to enable them to understand the scope of their exams so that they can prepare well for it on their own," he said.

If changes are brought in the current examination pattern adopted by the NTA, there would be no incidents of paper leak and dependency of students on coaching institutes, he said.

Rao was addressing an annual press conference of the Vidya Bharti Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Sansthan to highlight the organisation's contributions to the field of education and the achievements made by more than 12,000 schools run by it in different parts of the country.

A total of 67 students scored a perfect 720 in NEET-UG, 2024, unprecedented in the NTA's history, with six from a Haryana centre figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

Later, the number of candidates sharing the top rank fell to 61 after the NTA announced the revised results on July 1.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently conducting a probe into the alleged irregularities in NEET-UG, 2024.

Asked if Vidya Bharti was also working in violence-hit Manipur, Rao said his organisation made arrangements to provide free education to students living in various relief camps and was also running 250 students' hostels. "We have started the 'School on Wheels' initiative to fulfil the students' educational needs there (Manipur)."

Vidya Bharti is also providing education to Manipur students by shifting them to its schools functioning in other states, he said.

"Our volunteers and teachers are making plenty of efforts to fulfil the needs of the students (in Manipur). They are working under tough conditions. The situation is quite sensitive there. It will take time to bring it on track. But we will continue our efforts," he said.

Replying to reporters' questions, Rao said the Centre had approved Vidya Bharti's proposal to run eight Sainik Schools in various states, including Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, while its proposal for starting two more Sainik Schools was "under process".

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