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NEET Exam row: NEET-PG 2024 postponed, NTA chief Subodh Kumar Singh sacked

In his place, former union secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola was given the charge of the top job. Karola had served as the secretary in the union Civil Aviation ministry earlier.
Last Updated : 22 June 2024, 16:37 IST

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New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday removed Subodh Kumar Singh -- the chief of the National Testing Agency (NTA) -- replacing him with retired Karnataka cadre IAS officer Pradip Singh Karola, even as the government was facing mounting pressure over irregularities in NEET and the cancellation and postponement of the UGC-NET and CSIR-UGC-NET exams.

Additionally, the Centre also cancelled the NEET-PG entrance exams, conducted by the National Board of Examination, citing recent episodes of paper leaks and irregularities. The exam, which are entrance tests for postgraduate medical programmes in government or private medical colleges, was scheduled for Sunday.  

The appointments committee of the Cabinet, in a notification, said that it was putting Singh’s services on hold. "... Placing the services of Shri Subodh Kumar Singh, IAS (CG:97), Director General, National Testing Agency, Ministry of Education on compulsory wait in the Department of Personnel & Training,” the notification said. 

In his place, former union secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola was given the charge of the top job. Karola had served as the secretary in the union Civil Aviation ministry earlier. 

Union minister Dharmender Pradha told PTI that the "top leadership" of the agency is under the scanner over alleged paper leaks. He also said that the CSIR-UGC-NET did not have any leaks.

"There was no leak in CSIR-UGC NET, it was postponed because of logistic issues. There is also a retest of 1,563 NEET candidates tomorrow. For smooth conduct of the exam everywhere, the decision was taken," he told PTI

The education ministry, in a statement, also said that the NEET-PG exams were postponed keeping in mind recent episodes of irregularities. 

“Taking into consideration the recent incidents of allegations regarding the integrity of certain competitive examinations, the Ministry of Health has decided to undertake a thorough assessment of the robustness of processes of NEET-PG Entrance Examination, conducted by National Board of Examination for medical students. It has accordingly been decided, as a precautionary measure, to postpone the NEET-PG Entrance Examination, scheduled to be held on June 23,” a statement released by the education ministry said. 

“Fresh date of this examination will be notified at the earliest. Ministry of Health sincerely regrets the inconvenience caused to the students. This decision has been taken in the best interests of the students and to maintain the sanctity of examination process,” the statement added. 

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Published 22 June 2024, 16:37 IST

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