Monday, July 15, 2024

Modi can’t make head or tail of neet, Dharmendra Pradhan is all at sea


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BJP-ruled states are epicentres of neet paper leak scam

By Krishna Jha

There is a clear direct connection of the Ministry of Education in the NEET exam paper leak. The Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan is not ready to resign. The matter has already reached the Supreme Court. The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for 2024 has stirred controversy across India, with allegations of a massive scam by the National Testing Agency (NTA). This year, over 23 lakh students faced challenges from paper leaks to questionable exam management, sparking nationwide debates and protests.
Amidst calls for a re-examination, many are questioning the integrity of the process, especially with incidents like the 67 students scoring a perfect 720, the mathematical anomalies in scores, and inconsistencies between OMR sheets and final results. Political figures and the public demand transparency and action, urging a thorough investigation into these grave issues affecting future medical professionals.
The Gujarat Police has arrested five people, including the Principal of Jalaram School in Godhra town in Gujarat’s Panchmahal district, for allegedly trying to help students clear the NEET-UG examination. According to the police, the students were instructed to leave blanks on answer sheets for a teacher to complete later in a pay-for-pass plot.
The arrested accused include school teacher Tushar Bhatt, Parshuram Roy of Roy Overseas, an education consultancy firm, and Principal Purshottam Sharma. The district education officer reached the spot and upon checking Bhatt’s phone found a list of 30 students. The officials also recovered Rs 7 lakh cash from his car. The arrests made in Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana clearly show that there has been organised corruption in the examination in BJP-ruled states, which had become the “epicentre” of paper leaks.
Following the arrest of the school principal and the teacher, the police arrested Roy and seized eight blank cheques and another set of cheques worth Rs 2.30 crore from him. The SP said many cheques were signed by the parents whose children had appeared in the NEET-UG exams at Jalaram School.
An engineer’s confession and the mention of a ‘Mantri Ji’ has fuelled the NEET 2024 exam issue, involving the accommodation of candidates in Patna and a racket for leaking exam papers. In his confession note, the engineer, identified as Sikandar Prasad Yadavendu, claimed that he had assisted in finding accommodation for four NEET candidates and one guardian in Patna.
All of India is alarmed after learning about the NEET paper leaks. NEET aspirants are rattled and terrified. The Prime Minister of India is not educated. The Union Minister for Education has not done anything for education. The minister claims there was no exam paper leak. But the police have made arrests after lodging FIRs. NTA’s breach of The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act demands not an internal committee inquiry but warrants a credible external agency’s investigation.
Our country has witnessed numerous medical admission rackets such as the VYAPAM scam in Madhya Pradesh and the All India Pre-Medical Entrance Test (AIPMT) in 2015. In all such admission tests, the exam conducting authority continued to deny malpractice allegations till the judiciary intervened. If NTA had given compensatory marks based on an established procedure, without compromising merit, the Committee’s recommendation to cancel the results of these candidates creates doubts about the standards and fairness of the processing of NEET-UG results.
Since the release of NEET-UG-2024 results last week, the chorus regarding many malpractices related to the conduct of the exam and processing of results has grown exponentially. Even the leaders of opposition parties raised concerns about the exam regarding the alleged malpractices. The parties demanded an enquiry and re-examination. The Supreme Court also raised apprehensions stating that the “‘sanctity of the exam has been affected” and demanded answers in an earlier hearing on June 11. It issued a notice to the National Testing Agency (NTA) and other respondents. New litigations are being filed in court on a daily basis demanding a re-test, and a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry.
When NEET was proposed, experts argued that a single national-level entrance test for medical courses would uphold merit and improve the quality of education. However, the experience of the past few years shows that it has not been the case at all. The results of NEET have caused a commotion in the whole country. Although 2.3 million students took this exam this year, it is not just about these 2.3 million students. It is about every student in the country who expects to get a fair chance to get admission in a good college. It is about every student in the country who thinks that by studying hard, she will have a bright future.
We all know that in our country, there is a lot of stress and pressure on students because of very tough competitions. There is a shortage or lack of good colleges in the country. There is a shortage or lack of seats in good colleges. And now the examinations that are being conducted to allocate those seats, if they are not conducted properly by the Testing Agencies and the government is sitting pretty, then what hope will be left for the future of the country? Paper leaks, or misconducting examinations, have become quite common. Candidates paid Rs 30 lakhs to 50 lakhs for the leaked papers. On May 10 the racket went bust. (IPA Service)


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