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NTA Officials Face Action Threat Over NEET Irregularities, Says Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan declared in Sambalpur on June 16 that if National Testing Agency (NTA) employees were discovered to be involved in anomalies in the administration of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the Central government would take the harshest possible measures against them.

“With regards to NEET, two types of irregularities have come to the light. As per preliminary findings, some students were allotted less time than the designated duration, leading to widespread dissatisfaction. Alternatively, grace marks were awarded, which the government had already disapproved, and [the government] directed re-examination for 1,563 students as per the Supreme Court order,” Mr. Pradhan said.

“Additional wrongdoings have also come to the fore on two accounts. I assure both students and parents that the government had taken the issue very seriously. We will take it to a logical end,” he said.

“The officials, regardless of whatever important positions they hold in the NTA, would not be spared if they are found guilty. A lot of reforms are required in the NTA’s functioning though it is an autonomous institution. The government is examining all issues,” the Minister said.

NEET 2024 was conducted by the NTA at 4,750 centres in 571 cities, including 14 overseas locations, for over 24 lakhs candidates, on May 5.

After the results were declared June 4, parents and teachers began questioning the grace marks awarded to 1,563 students. The matter reached the Supreme Court, which expressed concern over the integrity of NEET.

The High Powered Committee constituted after the controversy recommended reconduct of NEET 2024 for the 1,563 candidates who had experienced loss of time during the originally scheduled examination on May 5. This re-examination will be held on June 23.

While 24,06,079 candidates had registered for the examination, and increase of 16.85% from the previous year. Of them, 23,33297 appeared for it.

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