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Won’t tolerate malpractice, accountability in NTA will be fixed if lapses found: Pradhan on NEET row

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NEW DELHI: The government will not tolerate any malpractice or irregularities in the conduct of exams and accountability of the National Testing Agency will be fixed if lapses are found, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday amid a row over medical entrance exam NEET.

About action taken against six centres where the exam paper was wrongly distributed and candidates had to be compensated with grace marks to make up for the loss of time, he said, “Every aspect is being looked into. Accountability will be fixed and depending upon the nature of lapse action will be taken.”

“There is no scope for any malpractice or irregularities in the conduct of any exam. We will not tolerate that. The accountability of the National Testing Agency (NTA) will also be fixed if lapses are found,” Pradhan said in response to a question by PTI.

The comments by the minister came on a day when Congress stepped up its attack on the government over the NEET-UG exam issue and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “silence” on the matter. The opposition party asserted that only a Supreme Court-monitored forensic probe can safeguard the future of lakhs of young students.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge claimed the Modi government has started “covering up the NEET scam” through the Union education minister and NTA.

“They have just lost the elections and are now looking for a new issue. We have the facts and misleading students and the public based on lies is not right,” he added.

Explaining the rationale behind the rise in the number of toppers and cut-off marks this year, Pradhan said the syllabus for NEET was reduced as per the syllabus rationalised by NCERT.

“In previous years, the NEET syllabus wasn’t cut down. This year we also aligned the questions with the state boards’ syllabus. Less syllabus and more number of candidates also led to the rise in competition and ultimately increase in the number of top scorers,” the Union education minister said. (PTI)

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