Will he 'Leak pe Speak'? Congress takes a dig at Modi over 'silence' on exam fiascos

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge asked what kind of 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' is this, where the question paper gets leaked every day.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 09:49 IST

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New Delhi: Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the cancellation of the UGC-NET exam, the Congress on Thursday said every year he conducts a "grand tamasha" of what he calls 'Pareeksha pe Charcha' and yet his government cannot even conduct an examination without "leaks and frauds".

The opposition party also asked the prime minister if he would "leak pe speak".

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge asked what kind of 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' is this, where the question paper gets leaked every day.

"How the Modi government has ruined the country's education and recruitment system -- Paper leaks, fraud and gross irregularities in NEET, UGC-NET, CUET (Common University Entrance Test) have now been exposed. The much-publicised NRA – National Recruitment Agency is completely defunct," Kharge said in a post in Hindi on X.

In August 2020, Modi announced the NRA with great fanfare, Kharge said.

"With a lot of hype, he said - 'NRA will prove to be a boon for crores of youth. Through the Common Eligibility Test, it will eliminate multiple exams and save precious time as well as resources. This will also give a big boost to transparency'. For government jobs, the Modi government had claimed that the NRA will conduct a single recruitment exam for all jobs. Four years have passed, National Recruitment Agency (NRA) has not conducted a single exam yet," he said.

A fund of Rs 1,517.57 crore was provided to NRA for three years but only Rs 20 crore was spent till December 2022, he said.

Whenever the Opposition sought answers in Parliament, the Modi government kept procrastinating and making excuses, the Congress chief said.

"NRA was made merely an agency for screening candidates at the lower level, instead of being the sole agency for recruitment examinations," he claimed.

Kharge further said that 30 lakh government jobs are vacant and alleged that by not filling these, the Modi government has hatched a "planned conspiracy" to snatch the right to reservation from SC, ST, OBC and EWS youth.

"Instead of promoting scientific thinking in NCERT books, it is being given a political colour. The autonomy of institutions such as UGC, CBSE, IIT, IIM has been abolished," the Congress president said.

"According to RTI, expenditure on PM Modi's 'Pariksha pe Charcha' has increased by 175 per cent in six years. The showering of knowledge on students during the 'exam' by the head of a government which cannot conduct a nationwide examination without rigging is dishonesty!" he said.

"Having pushed millions of youth into the quagmire of unemployment by making false promises, Modi ji was roaming around universities yesterday under the shadow of cameras!" he said.

Kharge said the Congress will maintain its agenda of "Pehli Naukri Pakki (first job secure)", "right to reservation" and "freedom from paper leak".

"Our struggle for the rights of the youth will continue from the streets to the Parliament," Kharge said.

Amid a raging row over the medical entrance exam NEET, the Union education ministry on Wednesday ordered the cancellation of the UGC-NET following inputs that the exam's integrity may have been compromised, and handed over the matter to the CBI for an investigation.

UGC-NET is a test to determine the eligibility of Indian nationals for the award of junior research fellowship, for appointment as assistant professors and admission to PhD in Indian universities and colleges.

The ministry also sought a report from the Bihar Police's Economic Offences Unit regarding alleged irregularities in the conduct of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (UG) 2024 in Patna and said further action would be taken based on the report.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said every year the PM conducts a "grand tamasha of what he calls 'Pareeksha pe Charcha'."

"Yet, his government cannot even conduct an examination without leaks and frauds," he added.

Ramesh said the NEET UG 2024 Examination faces very serious questions that even the Education Minister has been forced to acknowledge.

The integrity of the National Testing Agency (NTA) is under severe doubt, he said.

Now the UGC-NET conducted just the day before yesterday has been cancelled last night, he said.

In fact, the government has been ruinous for India's education system with the CUET (Common University Entrance Test) making a complete mockery of Class XII exams, Ramesh said.

The professionalism of NCERT, UGC, and CBSE has been destroyed, he claimed.

"The New Education Policy of 2020, rather than preparing India's education system for the future, only serves as the Nagpur Education Policy 2020," he alleged.

"This is the legacy of the MA in Entire Political Science. Will he ever 'Leak pe Speak?'" Ramesh said.

Soon after the cancellation of UGC-NET, the Congress on Wednesday dubbed the Modi government as "paper leak government" and asked whether the education minister would take responsibility now.

The opposition's attack also comes amid the row over medical entrance exam NEET. The NEET-UG examination is conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country. There have been media reports on paper leak and other discrepancies in the exam.

The examination was held on May 5 across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates appeared for it. Its results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced on June 4, apparently because the evaluation of the answer sheets was completed earlier.

Published 20 June 2024, 09:49 IST

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