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CBI takes over five more cases in multiple states


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New Delhi, June 24: The CBI on Monday took over five new cases of alleged malpractices in the medical entrance exam NEET-UG that were being investigated by police in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Bihar, as the political storm intensified with the opposition gearing up to confront the government in Parliament on the paper leak issue.
The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra police also arrested a Zilla Parishad school teacher from Latur and registered a case against four persons after it emerged that a racket was being operated to help NEET students willing to pay money to crack the exam.
Mamata urges PM to consider abolishing NEET
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider abolishing NEET, the national-level medical entrance exam introduced in 2013, and reverting to the system of states conducting the exam in the wake of the paper leak row.
Several opposition MPs said on the first day of the 18th Lok Sabha that the government will have to answer on the issue in Parliament as it is causing hardship to lakhs of students.
As Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan proceeded to take oath in Lok Sabha, members of the opposition shouted “NEET, NEET”.
Pradeep Singh Kharola took the additional charge of NTA on Monday and had meetings with officials of the testing body.
The Education Ministry had also set up a seven-member panel headed by former ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan to review the NTA’s functioning and recommend exam reforms and it was slated to meet Monday evening.
Pradhan had asserted that it was the first of a series of steps to improve the efficiency of the examination process, put an end to all possible malpractices, strengthen data security protocols and overhaul and reform the NTA.
Centre notifies rules under anti-paper leak law
The Centre on Monday also made public the rules under the recently notified anti-paper leak law, mandating the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to prepare norms, standards and guidelines for the computer-based tests among others.
The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Rules, 2024 have provisions for “engagement of services of other government agencies by public examination authority”, “preparations of norms, standards and guidelines” and “reporting of incidents of unfair means or offences” among others.
Officials at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said the central agency has re-registered one case each from Gujarat and Bihar and three cases from Rajasthan as its own FIR. It is also likely to take up another case from Maharashtra’s Latur.
Barring the case from Bihar, the other four appear to be isolated incidents of impersonation and cheating by local officials, invigilators and candidates, the officials said.
The CBI has already registered its own FIR in connection with the case on a reference from the Union education ministry to conduct a comprehensive probe, they said.
After taking over these new cases, the CBI is now probing six cases of alleged irregularities in NEET-UG. The Economic Offences Unit of the Bihar Police arrested five more persons on Sunday, taking the total arrests to 18. The Centre has drawn flak over alleged irregularities in NEET-UG and UGC-NET.
Police find Maha connection; ZP school headmaster held
The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested a Zilla Parishad school headmaster from Latur in Maharashtra and detained a teacher after it emerged that at least four persons operated a racket to help NEET students willing to pay money to crack the exam, police said on Monday.
Police arrested Jalil Khan Umar Khan Pathan, the headmaster of a ZP school late Sunday night, and detained another ZP school teacher Sanjay Jadhav on Monday for questioning. According to police, both teachers also run a private coaching centre.
An FIR has been registered against Jadhav, Pathan, Iranna Mashnaji Kongalwar from Nanded and one Gangadhar, a resident of Delhi under the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024. (PTI)


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