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Govt sacks NTA DG, hands probe to CBI

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New Delhi, June 22: Facing flak over alleged discrepancies in competitive exams, the Centre on Saturday shunted out National Testing Agency (NTA) Director General Subodh Singh and handed over the probe into irregularities in medical entrance exam NEET-UG to the CBI.
The Education Ministry also set up a seven-member panel headed by former ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan to review the agency’s functioning and recommend exam reforms. It postponed the NEET-PG entrance, the fourth entrance exam to be impacted in recent days.
“We stand for transparent, tamper-free and zero error examination. A panel has been formed on exam reforms, strict action has been taken against officials and the case has been handed over to CBI,” Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
“Students’ interest will be safeguarded at any cost,” he said after a flurry of decisions amid litigation and protests in different parts of the country on the issue of alleged irregularities in entrance exams.
The opposition hit out at the government, with the Congress alleging that the education system has been “ruined” under the Modi government.
According to officials, NTA DG Subodh Kumar Singh has been put on “compulsory wait” in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) till further orders.
India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) Chairman and Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola has been assigned additional charge of the NTA till the appointment of a regular incumbent.
“Certain cases of alleged irregularities, cheating, impersonation and malpractices have been reported in NEET-UG which was conducted on May 5. “For transparency on the conduct of the examination process, it was decided after a review that the matter be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for comprehensive investigation,” the Ministry of Education said announcing the late-night decision.
The Union Health Ministry also announced the postponement of NEET-PG entrance, a night before the entrance exam, as a “precautionary measure” in the wake of recent allegations on the integrity of certain competitive exams.
The move comes a day after the June edition of the Joint Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and UGC-NET was postponed. The Joint CSIR-UGC-NET is a test conducted to determine eligibility for junior research fellowship and assistant professor and admission to PhD in science courses. (PTI)

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