Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan criticised the Congress on Saturday, accusing the party of avoiding a discussion in Parliament on the NEET exam controversy. His comments followed the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi’s call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a “respectful” and thorough debate on alleged irregularities in the NEET exam. 

Responding to a question about the opposition’s criticism of the BJP-led Centre regarding the NEET issue, Pradhan said, “The Congress does not want a discussion. It wants to run away from the discussion. Its only intention is to create chaos, confusion, and create obstacles in the smooth functioning of the entire institutional mechanism”. He noted that the President had addressed the NEET issue, which the Congress had raised, in her parliamentary speech. 

Pradhan said that the opposition had an opportunity to discuss this matter during the motion of thanks to the President’s address, and he asserted the government’s readiness for any discussion. 

“But the Congress wants to play politics over the matter. It is not the time to play politics,” Pradhan told reporters after the first session of the Haryana BJP’s extended state executive meeting in Panchkula. 

Without mentioning names, he stated that such irregularities occurred before 2014, referring to the previous UPA regime.

Regarding steps to ensure error-free exams, the Minister mentioned the high-level committee formed to reform the National Testing Agency (NTA). “A strong law has been formed against public examination and disruption,” he added.

Pradhan also stated that the alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG exam have been handed over to the CBI. 

On the date of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, Post-Graduate (NEET-PG), Pradhan said the National Board of Examinations (NBE) would announce it in one or two days.

The NEET-UGF exam, conducted by the NTA on May 5, saw about 24 lakh candidates. The results, announced on June 4, were followed by allegations of question paper leaks in states like Bihar and other irregularities. 

The Education Ministry also cancelled the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) and NEET (postgraduate) examinations after receiving input suggesting that exams’ “integrity may have been compromised”. 

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