Indian government hands over NEET-UG exam paper leak case to CBI


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New Delhi/IBNS-CMEDIA: The government on Saturday transferred the investigation into the alleged compromise, which includes paper leaks, of the NEET-UG 2024 examination, to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The agency is also investigating the UGC-NEET exam, which was held on June 18 this year and cancelled two days later on June 20, citing that its “integrity was compromised”. The CBI registered an FIR in the matter on June 20.

The Union Ministry of Education, in a statement, said that “certain cases of alleged irregularities/cheating/impersonation/malpractices have been reported” with regard to the NEET examination and that “for transparency in the conduct of the examination process, the Ministry of Education, after a review, has decided to entrust the matter to the CBI for a comprehensive investigation”.

“The government is committed to ensure the sanctity of examinations and protect the interest of students. It is reiterated that any individual/ organisation found to be involved will face strictest action,” the ministry emphasised. The NEET-UG was held on May 5 across 4,750 centres in the country and around 24 lakh candidates took it. The results were announced on June 4, ten days ahead of the expected date.

Allegations of question paper leaks and malpractices emerged immediately after the results, with over 67 students achieving the maximum marks, some of whom were from the same examination centers.

Some candidates publicly claimed they received question papers on the eve of the exam, according to media reports.

An initial police investigation uncovered irregularities and paper leaks in Bihar, with UP STF arresting the mastermind in the case, Ravi Atri, on Saturday.

In response to these allegations, the Union Health Ministry postponed the NEET-PG entrance examination, which was scheduled for June 23, as well as the CSIR-NET, citing “precautionary measures” to maintain the integrity of competitive exams.

Amid the controversy, NTA Director General Subodh Singh was removed from his position on Saturday, and senior bureaucrat Pradeep Singh Kharola was appointed as the new head of the agency.

Furthermore, a seven-member high-level panel, led by former ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan, has been formed to review the NTA’s operations and recommend exam reforms.