UGC-NET row: Students detained for protesting outside Union Education Minister's house

Students raise slogans during a protest over the alleged irregularities in NEET 2024 results, in Bhopal, Friday, June 14, 2024. Photo: PTI.

New Delhi: Several members of the Congress-affiliated NSUI were on Thursday detained while protesting outside Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan's residence here against the cancellation of the UGC-NET examination. The Union Education Ministry late on Wednesday night ordered the cancellation of UGC-NET following inputs of the exam's integrity being compromised.

Members of the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) led by its national president Varun Choudhary gathered outside Pradhan's residence and demanded a ban on the National Testing Agency (NTA) and a probe into the alleged incidents of paper leak. The student leaders were seen raising slogans against the alleged corruption in the NTA and the perceived inaction by the education minister.

In a symbolic display of corruption, Choudhary flung a bag full of counterfeit currency in the air and demanded an urgent probe into the matter. The protesters also demanded an investigation into the irregularities in the NEET-UG examination.

No complaints against UGC-NET; exam cancelled to safeguard students' interest: Officials
Education Ministry officials on Thursday said no complaints were received about the exam but a suo motu action was taken on the basis of inputs available with them to protect students' interest. Education Ministry Joint Secretary Govind Jaiswal said the details of the inputs cannot be shared as the matter has been referred to the CBI and is currently under investigation. "No complaints were received but the inputs we received from agencies indicated that the integrity of the exam has been compromised. The action was taken suo motu to safeguard interests of the students," he said. "A fresh date for the exam will be announced soon," Jaiswal told reporters.

Modi govt cannot conduct exams without leaks, frauds: Cong
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 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 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.

The Congress on Wednesday dubbed the Modi government as "paper leak government" and asked whether the education minister would take responsibility now. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge attacked the government over the alleged irregularities in the medical entrance exam NEET, and asked when will Prime Minister hold "NEET pareeksha pe charcha". Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the government after the Education Ministry ordered the cancellation of UGC-NET and asked for accountability to be fixed.

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