Education Ministry announces cancellation of UGC-NET; CBI probe ordered

The National Testing Agency is already embroiled in a controversy over NEET irregularities, a matter which is in the Supreme Court now

Updated - June 20, 2024 01:45 pm IST

Published - June 19, 2024 10:58 pm IST - New Delhi

UGC-NET candidates look for their roll numbers at an examination centre in Patna on June 18, 2024.

UGC-NET candidates look for their roll numbers at an examination centre in Patna on June 18, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Education Ministry late on June 19 announced the cancellation of the UGC-NET examination after inputs from the Ministry of Home Affairs suggested that the integrity of the examinations had been compromised. The University Grants Commission–National Eligibility Test is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

The development comes at a time when the NTA is embroiled in a controversy over irregularities in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical and allied courses.

UGC-NET is conducted twice a year by the NTA to determine the eligibility of candidates for the positions of ‘Assistant Professor’ and ‘Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professor’ and for PhD admissions.

Also read: Paper leak government’: Congress on cancellation of UGC-NET

The examination was held in two shifts across various cities on June 18.

The Ministry of Education said on social media platform X, “Government is committed to ensure the sanctity of examinations and protect the interest of students.”

It added, “Ministry of Education has decided that the UGC-NET June 2024 Examination be cancelled on the basis of inputs from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs, prima facie indicating that the integrity of the examination may have been compromised.”

Students protest after Centre cancels UGC-NET

It further stated that a fresh examination should be conducted, for which details would be shared later. “Matter being handed over to CBI for thorough investigation,” added the Ministry.

Students in the capital, including those belonging to the Jawaharlal Nehru University student union, said that they would protest in front of the Ministry on Thursday, demanding the resignation of the Education Minister and the UGC Chairperson, along with the scrapping of NTA and NEET.

Over the past month, students across the country have been protesting the alleged irregularities in the medical entrance test, calling for a retest.

Opposition asks for cancellation of NEET

Soon after the announcement about UGC-NET, the Opposition asked why NEET had not been cancelled. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said on X, “Cancellation of UGC-NET exam is a victory of the spirit of millions of students,” adding that this was a defeat to the “arrogance of the Modi government”.

He stated that the Education Minister had earlier said that there was no paper leak in NEET. “When arrests are made of education mafia in Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana, the Education Minister accepts that some scam has taken place! When will the NEET exam be cancelled?” he asked.

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