Opposition puts pressure on government for discussion on NEET exam irregularities in Parliament

Attempting to corner the government, the Opposition on Friday demanded a discussion on irregularities in the conduct of the NEET-UG medical examination in both Houses of Parliament, with the Leader of the Opposition and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi saying we should send a message to the students that we are with them at this hour of crisis.

Congress MP B Manickam Tagore wrote to the Lok Sabha Secretary-General, giving a notice for suspension of business of the House for discussion of a definite matter of urgent importance on “unprecedented cases of paper leaks in the conduct of exams, including the NEET-UG and UGC-NET, and the failure of the National Testing Agency (NTA)“.

Similar notices were served in the Rajya Sabha by Congress MPs, Dr Syed Naseet Hussain and Ranjeet Ranjan, seeking a discussion on the irregularities in the NEET-UG exam. Other opposition parties also joined in raising the issue.

Before the discussion began at 11 am in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi told the media that the leaders of the INDIA bloc partners had met and decided that the Opposition and the government should come together to send a message from Parliament that all the parties are concerned about students, who are worried about their future.

“We should discuss the issue calmly. Both, the Opposition and ruling alliance should send a common message to students from Parliament,” Gandhi said.

The Chief Ministers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu called for scrapping NEET.

The government is open to a discussion on the exam paper leak, but it wants the Opposition leaders to speak on the issue during the discussion on the presidential debate, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said.

“I have received 22 notices on the NEET paper leak case. The President has already indicated in her speech in paragraph 20 that there would be a fair investigation into irregularities in NEET,” Speaker Om Birla said, and adjourned the house till 12 pm, after Rahul Gandhi sought to press the Opposition demand for a discussion.

  • Also read: 74 students scored centum in NEET UG since inception, 91% of them cleared the exam in 2024

Meanwhile, the Congress general secretary in-charge of communications alleged that the Modi government is offering “patronage” to an Ahmedabad-based exam conducting company, despite it being implicated in several paper leaks, including the infamous UP Police Constable Recruitment Exam that affected 49 lakh candidates.

“The NET and NEET are just the latest examples – the last ten years have seen rampant paper leaks and malfeasance around competitive exams across the country. At last count, 2.26 crore youth across the country have been impacted by these paper leaks,” Ramesh posted on X.

“It’s reflective of the Modi Government’s incompetence, but also of its corruption. An Ahmedabad-based exam conducting company, implicated in several paper leaks, including the infamous UP Police Constable Recruitment Exam that affected 48 lakh candidates, has been receiving repeated patronage from the Modi Government and BJP State Governments across the country. The UP and Bihar Governments have blacklisted the firm, but even as of October 2023, the Modi Government continued giving them contracts, to the tune of 80 crores,” he alleged in his post.

“Why? Because the firm’s proprietor is an ideological and political supporter of the BJP. Pictured here are the एक तिहाई Pradhan Mantri with the accused,” he said.

The Union Education Ministry has already sought a CBI inquiry to carry out a country-wide investigation into the NEET paper leak and other irregularities in the conduct of the exam by the NTA. It has also instituted a high-level inquiry into the functioning of the NTA, given reports of wide-scale compromise of the examination procedure. As of now, the CBI is investigating six such cases and has arrested two persons from Bihar for their alleged involvement in leaking the NEET paper.

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