The Union Education Ministry on June 19 cancelled the University Grants Commission–National Eligibility Test (NET) after concerns were raised about the exam’s integrity.  The UGC-NET 2024 was conducted on June 18 across 317 cities.

Also Read: ‘Millions of dreams…,’ ABVP, other RSS affiliates express unease over NTA role amid NEET, UGC-NET 2024 row: Report

The cancellation of UGC-NET came amid ongoing controversy over alleged irregularities in the medical entrance exam – NEET. Both exams are conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The police in Bihar and Gujarat are investigating the alleged leak of the NEET-UG 2024 question paper.

The NEET-UG 2024 issue has even reached the Supreme Court. The next hearing  in the alleged anomalies while conducting the exam is on July 8.

Here is a timeline of events regarding the controversies: 

June 21: Supreme Court once again declined to stay the process of NEET-UG 2024 counselling. The apex court has issued a notice to the National Testing Agency (NTA). The top court tagged the fresh pleas along with pending petitions and posted them for hearing on July 8. 

Delhi Congress workers on Friday held a demonstration near the BJP headquarters here over the alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG 2024 examinations. The demonstration was led by Delhi Congress president Devender Yadav.

The controversies surrounding the UGC-NET and NEET-UG, the two important national level examinations, have led to unease in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other RSS affiliates, including its student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), The Indian Express reported.

June 20: The Union government announced the formation of a high-level committee to provide recommendations for enhancing the structure, processes, data management, and security protocols of the NTA. The committee will comprise technocrats, scientists, educational administrators, academics, and psychologists.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a First Information Report (FIR) into the UGC-NET paper leak case on June 20 against unidentified persons on a reference from the Union Education Ministry, officials said.

Also Read: NEET, UGC-NET 2024 row: 10 year jail term,  1 Cr fine as punishments in new ‘anti-paper leak’ law. Full details here

June 20:  Anurag Yadav, a 22-year-old NEET UG 2024 aspirant, arrested by Bihar police after confessing that the leaked question paper he received matched the actual exam question paper. The arrest came as part of a larger investigation, which also saw four men from Bihar detained for allegedly accessing the exam paper a day before the test.

June 20: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid the ongoing row over NEET-UG results and cancellation of the UGC-NET exam, and said that PM is more concerned about Speaker’s election. The same day Bihar’s deputy chief minister Vijay Kumar Sinha claimed the arrested prime accused in the NEET “paper leak” is linked to officials associated with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.

June 19: The Union Education Ministry on June 19 cancelled the University Grants Commission–National Eligibility Test (NET) after concerns were raised about the exam’s integrity.  The UGC-NET 2024 was conducted on June 18 across 317 cities. The government also ordered a CBI probe into the UGC-NET exam. 

June 18: The Supreme Court issued a notice to the NTA, seeking a response to the pleas in connection with the alleged paper leaks and malpractices in NEET-UG 2024. The top court said even a little negligence in NEET-UG 2024 should be thoroughly dealt with. “If there is 0.001% negligence on the part of anyone, it should be thoroughly dealt with. Children have prepared for the exams. We cannot forget their labour,” the Supreme Court said.

Also Read: NEET-UG, UGC-NET row: High-level committee being formed, guilty won’t be spared, says minister Dharmendra Pradhan

June 13: The uproar over NEET UG results reached the Supreme Court with multiple petitions seeking cancellation of exams. In the first hearing, the SC sought for NTA’s response. The SC refused to stay NEET UG Counselling process. The top Court was informed that the Centre has decided to revoke the grace marks awarded to 1,563 students in the NEET-UG 2024 exam. The government said then that if the affected students decided to appear for the re-exam, it will be held on June 23. The result for those students will be declared before June 30 and the counselling will take place from July 6 onwards.

June 4: NTA declared the NEET UG 2024 results on June 4, the day of counting of votes for Lok Sabha Elections 2024. Soon after the results were out, students and parents took to streets to protest the unusual results and the awarding of grace marks to around 1500 students.  Students began to demand a retest and re-evaluation of all marks after it was found that 67 students had topped the exam.

Also Read: NEET-UG 2024 row: Supreme Court seeks responses from Centre, NTA on paper leak allegations

May 5, 2024: The NTA conducted the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) on May 5. The NEET exam was conducted for 24 lakh students at 4,750 centres across 571 cities outside India. There were allegations of paper leaks across centres during the exam, a charge dismissed by the NTA and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

The NTA and Centre clarified that the question papers for Hindi and English medium were mixed at six centres. However, the government said, was rectified and students were given extra time to complete the NEET exam

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Published: 21 Jun 2024, 12:56 PM IST