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Centre responds to NEET, NET row with 7-member reform committee; Who is on the panel?

The newly formed committee is tasked with analyzing the entire examination process, suggesting measures to enhance efficiency, and conducting a thorough review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and protocols of the NTA.

Centre responds to NEET, NET row with 7-member reform committee; Who is on the panel? AJR
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First Published Jun 22, 2024, 5:54 PM IST

Amid the ongoing row surrounding the NEET and UGC-NET exams, the Ministry of Education has taken a decisive step by constituting a high-level committee of experts to ensure the transparent, smooth, and fair conduct of examinations. The announcement was made on Saturday (June 22).

"In order to ensure transparent, smooth, and fair conduct of examinations through the National Testing Agency (NTA), the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education has constituted a high-level committee of experts to make recommendations on reforming the examination process, improving data security protocols, and reviewing the structure and functioning of the NTA," the ministry said.

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The newly formed committee is tasked with analyzing the entire examination process, suggesting measures to enhance efficiency, and conducting a thorough review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and protocols of the NTA. The committee will also recommend improvements in data security protocols and the overall structure and functioning of the NTA.

The seven-member committee will be chaired by former ISRO chief Dr. K Radhakrishnan and includes distinguished members such as Dr. Randeep Guleria, Prof. BJ Rao, Prof. Ramamurthy K, Pankaj Bansal, Aditya Mittal, and Govind Jaiswal.

According to the education ministry, the committee is expected to submit its report within two months.

In a statement, the ministry stressed that the panel will scrutinise the end-to-end examination process and suggest measures to improve system efficiency. Additionally, the committee will review the existing SOPs/protocols of the NTA and recommend enhancements to ensure compliance and integrity at every level.

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This move follows promises made by Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to take tough action against NTA officials for any irregularities. Pradhan took moral responsibility for the shortcomings and reaffirmed the government's commitment to zero-error testing.

However, he stopped short of agreeing to demands for the immediate cancellation of the medical entrance test, stating that the decision would be reconsidered only if credible evidence of large-scale irregularities, such as a paper leak, emerged.

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