As many as four national-level competitive exams across the country are under scrutiny, leaving the future of lakhs of students in limbo. The opposition parties have unitedly attacked the Narendra Modi-led NDA 3.0, which was sworn in just 13 days ago. 

Here are the four competitive examinations that have courted controversy:- 

Varanasi: Police personnel try to stop Congress workers during their protest march over the alleged irregularities in NEET-UG 2024 results, in Varanasi, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (PTI Photo)(PTI06_22_2024_000363B)(PTI)

NEET-UG 2024: The NTA faced scrutiny for lapses in the NEET-UG 2024 medical entrance exam, including alleged paper leaks and irregularities. It is now preparing to conduct a retest on Sunday specifically for 1,563 candidates who were originally awarded grace marks due to time loss at six examination centers.

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UGC-NET: The UGC-NET held on June 18 was cancelled by the Education Ministry to ensure “the highest level of transparency and sanctity” in the examination process. The University Grants Commission (UGC) received inputs from the National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit indicating potential compromise of the exam’s integrity. The matter is now being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). A day later, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in a briefing that the UGC-NET exam paper was leaked on the darknet, leading to its cancellation.

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CSIR-UGC NET: The June edition of the Joint CSIR-UGC NET was postponed due to logistic issues, announced the National Testing Agency. This exam determines eligibility for junior research fellowship, assistant professorship, and admission to PhD programs in science courses.

NEET-PG: The NEET-PG entrance exam, scheduled for June 23, was postponed by the Union Health Ministry as a precautionary measure amid allegations regarding the integrity of certain competitive exams. This exam is not conducted by NTA but the National Board of Examination (NBE) for medical students.

Meanwhile, the MHT-CET entrance exam for engineering and professional courses in Maharashtra faced controversy after Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray raised concerns about the exam’s conduct. He questioned the decision to release percentiles instead of students’ actual marks. However, authorities assured transparency, stating all student concerns have been addressed.

What actions government has taken on exam controversies? Top 5

1. Centre cancelled UGC-NET exam immediately after suspicions arose of compromise in exam integrity and has handed over the case to CBI for investigation.

2. It has established a seven-member panel, led by former ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan, to oversee fair conduct of exams via NTA.

3. It has notified a tough anti-cheating law, which has provisions of prison sentence of up to 10 years and 1 crore fine for exam malpractice.

4. Centre has shunted NTA director general Subodh Kumar Singh and replaced him with Pradeep Singh Kharola.

5. Centre has sought a comprehensive report from Bihar Police’s Economic Offences Unit regarding allegations of NEET-UG paper leak.