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    IndiaNTA chief shunted out, CBI to probe NEET ‘irregularities’

    NTA chief shunted out, CBI to probe NEET ‘irregularities’


    New Delhi: Amid the raging controversy over the conduct of competitive examinations, the Centre today removed Testing Agency (NTA) Director General Subodh Kumar Singh and entrusted the probe into alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG to the CBI.

    Former Union Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola has been appointed the new NTA chief. Kharola is currently the chairman and managing director of Trade Promotion Organisation. Subodh Kumar has been put on “compulsory wait” in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

    In another significant development, the government, in a sudden call, on Saturday night postponed the NEET-PG, which was scheduled for Sunday. “Certain cases of alleged irregularities, cheating, impersonation and malpractices have been reported in NEET-UG which was conducted on May 5. For transparency… it was decided after a review that the matter be handed over to the CBI for comprehensive investigation,” a senior Ministry official said. On Friday, the NTA had cancelled the CSIR-UGC-NET citing “logistical issues”. In recent months, the NTA has been embroiled in controversy over alleged irregularities and incidents of paper leak in two major competitive exams — NEET-UG and UGC-NET.

    The Ministry, in a statement at 10 pm, said, “Taking into consideration the allegations regarding the integrity of certain competitive examinations, the Ministry of Health has decided to undertake a thorough assessment of the robustness of processes of NEET-PG examination. It has accordingly been decided, as precautionary measure, to postpone the NEET-PG entrance examination.”

    The exam was scheduled to be held across 292 cities and 2,28,757 candidates had registered for the exam. Lakhs of candidates would have to face inconvenience as they had already made travelling and lodging arrangements in cities where their centres were allotted. “The suddenness of the exam postponement is unbelievable,” said Manish Jangra, member of a doctors' federation.

    The massive protests against the NTA by medical aspirants and opposition parties demanding action against the top officials of the testing agency has put the government under pressure.

    Subodh Kumar is from UP and holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in engineering from the IIT-Roorkee and an MBA from IGNOU, New Delhi. He has also served nine years in the Chhattisgarh Secretariat from 2009 to 2018 as a joint secretary and deputy secretary in personnel and general administration department, then as special secretary and director for personnel management, and secretary to the CM.

    Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “I have already said there has been an institutional failure. I have taken responsibility. The NTA's top leadership is under several types of questions. But I have to safeguard students' interests first. I am a custodian of their interests.”

    No day goes without news of cancellation of exam: Cong

    Congress leader Jairam Ramesh attacked the government saying “no day was complete without news of cancellation of an exam because of the total incompetence of the PM and the people around him”. “The latest exam to be put off is NEET-PG, which was scheduled to be held tomorrow,” he said.

    Subodh Kumar put on ‘compulsory wait'

    NTA DG Subodh Kumar put on ‘compulsory wait' in DoPT
    Ex-Union Secy Pradeep Kharola appointed new NTA chief

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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