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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 July 2024

Education ministry orders cancellations of UGC-NET; fresh date to be announced

The decision by the ministry comes amid a massive row on the medical entrance exam NEET over alleged irregularities, with the issue now before the Supreme Court

PTI New Delhi Published 19.06.24, 10:55 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File Photo

Amid a raging row over the medical entrance exam NEET, the Union education ministry on Wednesday ordered the cancellation of the UGC-NET following inputs that the exam's integrity may have been compromised, and handed over the matter to the CBI for an investigation.

The ministry also sought a report from the Bihar Police's Economic Offences Unit regarding alleged irregularities in the conduct of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (UG) 2024 in Patna and said further action would be taken based on the report.

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"The UGC received certain inputs from the National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs on the Examination. These inputs prima facie indicate that the integrity of the aforesaid examination may have been compromised," the ministry of education said.

"To ensure the highest level of transparency and sanctity of the examination process, it has been decided that the UGC-NET June 2024 examination be cancelled.

"A fresh examination shall be conducted, for which information shall be shared separately. Simultaneously, the matter is being handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for thorough investigation in the matter," the ministry added.

In a shift from earlier practice, the National Eligibility Test (NET) was conducted in pen-and-paper mode this time on a single day -- June 18 -- with a record 11 lakh students registering for the exam.

UGC-NET is a test to determine the eligibility of Indian nationals for the award of junior research fellowship, for appointment as assistant professors and admission to PhD in Indian universities and colleges.

The decision by the ministry comes amid a massive row on the medical entrance exam NEET over alleged irregularities, with the issue now before the Supreme Court.

There have been allegations of question paper leaks in states like Bihar and other irregularities in the prestigious exam. The allegations have led to protests in several cities and the filing of petitions in several high courts as well as the Supreme Court.

"Regarding certain irregularities alleged in the conduct of the examination in Patna, a detailed report has been sought from the Economic Offences Unit, Bihar Police. The government will take further action on receipt of this report," a senior official of the ministry said.

"The government is committed to ensuring the sanctity of examinations and protect the interest of students. It is reiterated that any individual or organisation found involved in this matter will face the strictest action," the official added.

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