NEET-NET paper leaks row: Centre removes NTA director general Subodh Kumar Singh

NEW DELHI: Centre on Saturday removed NTA director general Subodh Kumar Singh from his post and put him on "compulsory wait" in DoPT amid recent irregularities in exams including Neet and UCG-NET.

Meanwhile, Pradeep Singh Kharola has been given additional charge of the post of Director General, National Testing Agency (NTA) by the ministry.

neet-net paper leaks row: centre removes nta director general subodh kumar singh

NEET-NET paper leaks row: Centre removes NTA director general Subodh Kumar Singh

Additionally, health ministry postponed the NEET-PG examination scheduled to be held on June 23. A fresh date will be announced at the earliest, the health ministry said on Saturday.

"Taking into consideration, the recent incidents of allegations regarding the integrity of certain competitive examinations, the ministry of health has decided to undertake a thorough assessment of the robustness of processes of the NEET-PG Entrance Examination, conducted by the National Board of Examination for medical students," read the statement by the ministry.

Earlier, the ministry of education constituted a high-level committee of experts to ensure transparent, smooth and fair conduct of examinations amid the NEET and UGC-NET row. The 7-member committee will be led by former Isro chief Dr K Radhakrishnan. The committee also includes Dr Randeep Guleria, Prof B J Rao, Prof. Ramamurthy K, Pankaj Bansal, Aditya Mittal, Govind Jaiswal.

The committee will submit its report to the ministry within 2 months.

"In order to ensure transparent, smooth and fair conduct of examinations through National Testing Agency (NTA), department of higher education, ministry of education constituted a high-level committee of experts to make recommendations on Reform in mechanism of examination process improvement in data security protocols and structure and functioning of National Testing Agency," said ministry.

The high-level panel will analyse the end-to-end examination process and also suggest measures to improve the efficiency of the system, according to the statement from the ministry of education.

Additionally, the committee will also conduct a thorough review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)/Protocols of the NTA, and suggest measures to strengthen these procedures/protocols along with monitoring mechanisms to ensure compliance at every level.

Meanwhile, UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar welcomed the move and said this will help in making entrance exams more transparent and fair.

"Forming a High-Level Committee of Experts with Dr K. Radhakrishnan as Chairman is a welcome step towards assuring entrance examinations' transparent, smooth and fair conduct. The Committee's emphasis on recommending reforms in the examination process, enhancing data security protocols, and improving the NTA's structure and functioning will strengthen our national entrance examination system. Protecting student's interests and their future is our top priority," said M Jagadesh Kumar.

Supreme Court orders re-test for 1,563 candidates

The Supreme Court had earlier directed the National Testing Agency to conduct re-exam for the NEET aspirants on June 23, who had been awarded grace marks. The top court will resume reviewing the other petitions apart from grace marks on July 8.

However, these developments will not stall the ongoing counselling process. "Counselling will proceed, and we will not stop it. If the exam is affected, everything is affected, so there is nothing to fear," the apex court said.

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