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Modi government’s decisive move against the exam underbelly

The NEET paper leak has by default exposed the stark difference in intent between the government and the Opposition. While the Modi government has shown a determined intent to take the challenge head on, sadly the Opposition, particularly the RJD, appears as an enabler to the education mafia At one point of time, the country […]

The NEET paper leak has by default exposed the stark difference in intent between the government and the Opposition. While the Modi government has shown a determined intent to take the challenge head on, sadly the Opposition, particularly the RJD, appears as an enabler to the education mafia
At one point of time, the country has witnessed the harrowing maze of college admissions to remember the nightmare it used to be: the endless forms to fill, the grueling exams to sit through, the frantic journeys from state to state—all in a desperate bid to secure entry in a prestigious, professional institution. This experience was not merely financially draining but emotionally excruciating.
The promise of a centralized admissions process came as a beacon of hope in this chaos. Imagine just one exam, a common merit list, and seamless admissions across the country. Such a system, which eventually took the form of National Testing Agency (NTA) in 2018, not only eased the burdens on students and parents, offering them the best opportunities nationwide, but also eradicated the arbitrage and corruption that have long plagued our education system.
Having said that, if the NTA has been found lagging in its job, the time has come to take it to the cleaners. The NEET paper leak, the UGC-NET cancellation, among other lapses is unpardonable. That precisely explains the decisive and comprehensive, corrective measures initiated by Modi government over the weekend.
First and foremost, the government sacked the NTA Director General, Subodh Kumar Singh, putting him on ‘compulsory wait’ in DoPT. Pradeep Singh Kharola was appointed as the new DG.
Secondly, to ensure transparency and tangible revamp, the Ministry of Education has constituted a High-Level Committee of Experts under the chairmanship of Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, former Chairman of ISRO and Chairman of BoG, IIT Kanpur. This committee is tasked with making comprehensive recommendations to reform the examination process, enhance data security protocols, and restructure the NTA.
Thirdly, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been entrusted with investigating alleged irregularities in the NEET (UG) Examination 2024. The fact that a CBI team investigating this case was attacked in Nawada on Sunday, once again raises questions over the actual political kingpins and handlers of this case.
Equally important was the prompt notification of the Public Examination Act, which imposes severe penalties for unfair practices and paper leaks, further demonstrating the government’s resolve to safeguard the integrity of the education system. This historic law passed in Parliament earlier this year, carries provisions of Rs 1 crore fine and jail term of up to 10 years for offenders.
The Modi government, which has executed the transformative National Education Policy (NEP) in the most seamless manner, remains unwavering in its commitment to bringing last-mile educational reforms and a fully sanitized examination mechanism in the country. It will walk the talk on issues concerning youth once again, as it has it the past.
However, while the government’s intent is clear, sadly, the NEET paper leak has once again exposed the nexus between the education mafia and certain political parties. This year’s paper leak has a strong Bihar imprint and seems to be the handiwork of RJD. The EOU in Bihar has been probing Preetam Kumar, the PS of Tejaswi Yadav who apparently acted as facilitator for Sikandar Yaduvendra, the key accused and a close associate of Tejaswi Yadav. Sadly, Priyanka Gandhi tried to mislead the country through a video of another student Ayushi Yadav, whose claims and documents were found to be incorrect by the Allahabad High Court. Of course, the entitled Congress leader did not deem it necessary to take down her post.
Point it, India’s beleaguered Opposition, which has vilified the government ad nauseam over the paper leak issue, has no answers for RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav’s proximity with the key accused. Such brazen hypocrisy on this sensitive matter exposes the vile intent of our Opposition parties.
Let truth be told: Some of India’s political parties have been hand in glove with the education mafia for a very long time. While the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh had brought the stringent Anti-copying Act in 1992 when Rajnath Singh ji was the state’s education minister, the Samajwadi party scrapped the same act in 2013. Not just that, Akhilesh Yadav was found to be endorsing cheating in exams in one of his election rallies.
Again, if one goes by the Exam leak data from different states in the last 5 years, published in a leading daily, Rajasthan under Ashok Gehlot reported 5 major paper leaks, UP just 1. Point is while exam leak should never be politicized as it has occurred in both BJP and Opposition ruled states, why does the Opposition never feel responsible towards address the scourge in its own state?
The NEET paper leak has by default exposed the stark difference in intent between the government and the Opposition. While the Modi government remains determined to take the challenge head on, sadly the Opposition, particularly the RJD, appears as an enabler to the education mafia.

Tuhin A. Sinha is the national spokesperson of BJP, besides being a well-known author

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