NEET-UG Row: Centre has handed over the probe into alleged irregularities in NEET-UG exam 2024 to the Central Bureau of Investigation, seeking a comprehensive investigation.

“National Testing Agency (NTA) conducted NEET(UG) Examination on 5th May 2024 in OMR (Pen and paper) mode. Certain cases of alleged irregularities / cheating / impersonation / malpractices have been reported,” an official statement by the government read. 

The statement further said that the Ministry of Education, Government of India, following a review, decided to entrust the matter to the CBI for comprehensive investigation, to ensure transparency on the conduct of the examination process.

“Central Government has also enacted the Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, to prevent unfair means in the public examinations and to provide for matter connected therewith or incidental thereto. Government is committed to ensure the sanctity of examinations and protect the interest of students,” the statement read.

Centre stressed that any individual or organisation that is found to be involved in the matter will face “strictest action”.

The government chose not to cancel the NEET-UG medical entrance exam despite the huge controversy and an ongoing investigation into a paper leak. Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan clarified that the leak affected a limited number of students, contrasting it with broader leaks in 2004 and 2015 that led to exam cancellations. He stated that canceling the exam would unfairly impact lakhs of students who rightfully cleared it. 

Minister Pradhan also mentioned that the Supreme Court is hearing the case, and its decision will be final. 

Pradhan also said that the UGC-NET exam question paper leak was an “institutional failure” of the NTA, but he stressed that there was no need to cancel the exam. The Education Ministry has formed a high-level panel to review the functioning of the National Testing Agency.

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