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Education Minister Confesses: The Truth About NEET and Dharmendra Pradhan’s Honest Admission

20240618072212 NeetNEET Controversy Update: Was Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan too hasty in giving a clean chit to NTA? The opposition is making such allegations. A few hours ago, when the same question was asked to the Education Minister in an interview, he clearly said, ‘This was my mistake. I was reluctant to accept it… On that first day, the media’s agenda was whether there should be grace marks or re-test.’

The Education Minister said that I had joined on the first day after the elections and on the same day the Supreme Court commented that the test should be conducted again. At that time I had no information about any other discrepancy. There was no irregularity of any kind. Then I had said that till now there is no discrepancy in the information I have but as soon as it came to my notice, I went deep inside. I spoke to the administration in Bihar. Officials and agencies of the Government of India got to work. The top leadership of the government was concerned about it. 

Truth in democracy…

Dharmendra Pradhan said that in a democracy, the truth should be told. We said that with humility… we have to protect the interests of the students. We have to take care of their parents. So if we said something that there is confusion in it… I have no problem in accepting it. I have already said that whoever the person is, no matter how powerful he is, if he is found guilty, he will not be spared. We will take it to its logical conclusion. We will also make arrangements for zero error in future. 

How can there be zero error?

The Education Minister said that it has just come to notice that the type of work that is done in NTA, the type of exams that are being conducted. Last year, 1 crore 30 lakh people gave exams in NTA for studies or jobs. This year, 80 lakh people have given the exam so far. NTA is an autonomous institution but its work cannot be irresponsible. Some internal defaults are required. The government will form a high-level expert committee. It will give a detailed report on the structure of NTA, its examination process, data security. 

Earlier, Pradhan had said in a press conference that cancelling UGC-NET was not a sudden decision. We have found evidence that the question paper was leaked on the darknet and was being shared on the messaging platform ‘Telegram’, so the decision to cancel the exam was taken.