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Explained: Why UGC-NET exam was cancelled? What has government said?

The Ministry of Education has ordered the cancellation of the UGC-NET exam conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), just a day after it took place. This decision follows controversy surrounding the NEET medical entrance exam and is currently under Supreme Court review.
 

Explained Why UGC-NET exam was cancelled? What has government said? gcw
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First Published Jun 20, 2024, 11:40 AM IST

The Ministry of Education on Wednesday announced the cancellation of the UGC-NET examination due to prima facie evidence indicating compromise in the exam’s integrity. On Tuesday, June 18, the National Testing Agency (NTA) administered the UGC-NET June 2024 test in pen and paper (OMR) format in two shifts in different locations around the country.

"It received certain inputs from National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs on the Examination," the education ministry admitted in an official statement.

“To ensure the highest level of transparency and sanctity of the examination process, the Ministry of Education, Government of India has decided that the UGC-NET June 2024 Examination be cancelled,” the statement added.

What is UGC-NET examination?

According to its official website, UGC-NET is a nationwide eligibility test designed to ascertain Indian citizens' suitability for positions like "Assistant Professor" and "Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professor" in Indian universities and colleges.

It also establishes eligibility for a number of fellowships, including those offered by the Ministries of Minorities Affairs and Social Justice and Empowerment. The website states that in order to be considered for these fellowships, applicants must also take and pass this exam.

Who conducts UGC-NET examination?

The National Testing Agency (NTA), which also oversees NEET-UG, administers UGC-NET in computer-based test (CBT) format. To expedite the UGC-NET examination cycle, the exam is held twice a year in June and December.

What is the future course of action?

The government said in the statement that more investigation would be carried out; specifics will be released at a later time. It further said that the Central Bureau of probe (CBI) will be tasked with conducting a comprehensive probe into the situation. There will be a new investigation, for which distinct information will be provided. The statement ended, "Concurrently, the case is being turned over to the Central Bureau of inquiry (C.B.I.) for a comprehensive inquiry of the subject."

Why is NTA under scanner?

The notification from the government coincides with the ongoing investigations into purported anomalies in Patna, which have raised issues around the NEET(UG) 2024 Examination.

Released on June 4, the National Testing Agency (NTA) revealed the results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). The results were roughly ten days ahead of schedule and coincided with the announcement of the results of the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Some students have obtained exceptionally high percentiles (718 or 719 out of 720), which many have stated are unachievable. This has sparked concerns. Concerns about purported anomalies and document leaks have been expressed by candidates.

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