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Centre sets up high-level panel headed by former ISRO chief to reform exams, review NTA

The panel will make recommendations on reforms in the mechanism of the examination process, improvement in data security protocols and the structure and functioning of the NTA. It is supposed to submit its report within two months.
Last Updated : 22 June 2024, 09:55 IST

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New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday announced a high-level committee, headed by former ISRO chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan, to look into the functioning and fair conduct examinations by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The seven-member committee will submit its report in two months.

A release by the education ministry said that the Committee was formed to make recommendations on reforms in the mechanism of examination process, improvement in Data Security protocols and look at the structure and functioning of the exam body.

Apart from Dr Radhakrishnan, the seven-member committee will comprise former AIIMS Delhi Director Randeep Guleria, Hyderabad University VC Prof BJ Rao, IIT Madras Professor Emeritus Prof Ramamurthy K, Pankaj Bansal who is a Board Member of the DoPT’s National Program for Civil Services Capacity Building Karmayogi Bharat, and IIT Delhi Dean of Student Affairs Prof Aditya Mittal as members. Education ministry joint secretary Govind Jaiswal will be the Member-Secretary.

Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the committee will lead to a better examination process. “Transparent, tamper-free and zero-error examinations is a commitment. Setting up of the high-level committee of experts is the first of a series of step to improve efficiency of the examination process, put an end to all possible malpractices, strengthen data security protocols and overhaul and reform the NTA. Student interests and their bright future will always be our govt’s top priority,” he posted on X.

On Thursday, Pradhan had announced that the ministry is forming such a Committee, adding that the Centre was “committed to having a zero-error examination process”. He said that the leaks in the NEET as found in the Bihar case, and the compromising of the exam process of the UGC-NET were an “institutional failure” of the NTA.

UGC Chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said that the High-Level Committee of Experts is a “welcome step”. “The Committee’s emphasis on recommending reforms in the examination process, enhancing data security protocols, and improving the NTA’s structure and functioning will strengthen our national entrance examination system. Protecting student’s interest and their future is our priority,” Kumar said.

The ministry said that among the terms of reference of the committee, is reform in mechanism of examination process. The committee will analyse the “end-to-end examination process” and suggest measures to improve efficiency of the system, as well as “forestall any possible breach”. It will also conduct a review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the NTA, and suggest measures to strengthen them.

Additionally, to improve in data security protocols, the committee will evaluate the existing data security processes and protocols and recommend necessary changes, if any. It will also look at the existing security protocols related to the paper-setting processes for different examinations and make necessary recommendations.

To tighten the structure and functioning of NTA, the Committee will give recommendations on its organisational structure and functioning as well assess the current Grievance Redressal Mechanism.

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Published 22 June 2024, 09:55 IST

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