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NEET-UG 2024: NTA expects major reformation after questions raised on its credibility

According to government sources, the planned reforms will address administrative, operational, and logistical issues such as exam centers and question papers. Capacity building within the agency is also expected.

Pragya Kumari 18 June 2024 08:39

National Testing Agency

National Testing Agency

Some major modifications are expected at the National Testing Agency (NTA) in response to the growing controversy surrounding the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024. The agency's operations and exam management are being reviewed, and a high-level committee may be formed to provide recommendations.

According to government sources, the planned reforms will address administrative, operational, and logistical issues such as exam centers and question papers. Capacity building within the agency is also expected.

The NTA and the Ministry of Education are also looking into the details. Once the matter is settled following the investigations and court decisions, significant modifications will be implemented in every facet of carrying out these vital examinations.

According to a top government official, the case is currently pending in court. He added that a committee to recommend the modifications will probably be formed by the Ministry of Education.

Also Read: Latest Education News

NTA has encountered significant criticism from parents and students after releasing the NEET-UG 2024 results. A number of complaints surfaced, centered around three primary concerns: the distribution of grace marks to certain students, accusations of a leaked exam paper, and possible irregularities at particular examination centers.

There have been demands for a fair investigation and even a re-examination.

Responding to the allegations of the paper leak, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Education Minister, said on June 16, “We have the information, and we plan to pursue every matter to a final resolution. Whoever is involved, even big officials, in this will not be spared. There needs to be a lot of improvement in NTA. The government is concerned about this. No guilty individual will be spared; they will face the worst punishment possible.”

NEET-UG 2024 has been fraught with controversy, protests, and allegations that call into question NTA's credibility and trust. There were allegations of irregularities in NEET- UG 2024, conducted on May 5 at 4,750 centers in 571 cities, including 14 abroad.

The claims of question paper leaks and the distribution of grace marks have sparked significant protests and legal challenges in 7 high courts and the Supreme Court of India.

Regarding the grace marks granted to certain candidates, the NTA stated that a few petitions were filed by the NEET-UG before the High Courts of Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, and Haryana, expressing concerns over exam time being lost during the administration of the test at certain examination centers.

The official claimed that after reviewing the CCTV camera, it was decided that the integrity of the examination had not been compromised.

The NTA refuted the accusations, stating that some of the factors contributing to the students' higher scores were the modifications made to the NCERT books and the grace marks awarded for time loss at the testing centers.

However, a committee consisting of three academicians and a former UPSC chairman was formed to investigate the issue of grace marks and announced a re-test for 1,563 candidates.

The agency refuting the claims of paper leaks asserted that candidates were affected when incorrect question papers were distributed to an exam center in Rajasthan, leading some of them to walk out with question papers.

With approximately 1.23 crore candidates registered for various examinations as of November 2023, the NTA is among the largest exam-conducting agencies in the world. It comes after Gaokao in China, which in 2023 registered 1.29 crore candidates.

This year, more than 24 lakh students registered for NEET-UG 2024. Furthermore, 14.7 lakh students registered for the CUET-UG 2024 and around 13.4 lakh for the Joint Entrance Examination (Main). Other exams administered by NTA include the Swayam examinations, the Graduate Aptitude Test—Biotechnology (GAT-B), the Common Management Admission Test, the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test, the All-India Sainik School Entrance Exam, the National Council of Hotel Management Joint Entrance Exam, and the Admission Test for Diploma in Sports Coaching (ATDSC) 2024 for the National Institute of Sports (NIS).

NTA not only conducts some of the most competitive and well-known entrance exams, but it also manages the National Eligibility Test (NET) for UGC, as well as recruitment exams for Central Universities, Navodaya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Employees' Provident Fund Organization, and Military Nursing Service.

Union Education Minister Pradhan stated, “The government would conduct an extensive review of the NEET and take actions to reform the examinations and NTA. NTA is evolving and needs further improvement. We are concerned about the future of lakhs of young students.”

The National Testing Agency (NTA) administered the NEET (UG) 2024 to over 24 lakh students at 4,750 centers in 571 locations (including 14 abroad). The results of the NEET (UG) 2024 were announced on June 4.

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