India: NEET-PG exam postponed amidst paper-leak allegations; candidates express anguish

Authorities took the shocking decision 12 hours before the scheduled test on June 23 and said a fresh date will be announced at the earliest


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Published: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 12:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 12:39 PM

After the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced the postponement of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET PG) Examination, which was initially scheduled for Sunday, students have expressed their sorrow, criticising the Centre's decision.

The examination scheduled to be held on June 23 will now be rescheduled, with a new date to be announced soon.

A statement released by the ministry said that the decision to postpone the examination was taken in view of the recent incidents of allegations regarding the integrity of certain competitive examinations.

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"Taking into consideration, the recent incidents of allegations regarding the integrity of certain competitive examinations, the Ministry of Health has decided to undertake a thorough assessment of the robustness of the processes of the NEET-PG Entrance Examination, conducted by the National Board of Examination for medical students," the ministry statement read.

A candidate who went to Jaipur for the exam told ANI, "The NEET-UG exam's paper got leaked, NEET-PG was postponed 12 hours before, and the NEET-SSC exam date has not been announced yet. This shows how much the government is concerned about the health sector. The Union Health Minister and Union Education Minister must apologise for what they have done. Students and doctors have travelled a long way for the exam and come here; they have incurred a lot of expenses. On average, Rs10,000 was the expenditure. The government must reimburse these expenditures."

Jyoth Chouhan, another candidate, said that the Centre informing them at the last moment about the exam caused great inconvenience.

"NTA (National Testing Agency) informed at the last moment, 10 hours before that the exam has been postponed. If they had to reschedule, they should have announced that at least a few days ago. They didn't distribute exam centres properly, candidates got very faraway places at exam centres. Students from Vadodara had exam centres in Nashik and Madhya Pradesh. And then when they reached there, they were informed that the exam had been postponed. All are having great difficulties," he said.

The National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences (NBEMS) was fully prepared to conduct the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Post-Graduate (PG) 2024.

Speaking exclusively to ANI, Dr Rakesh Sharma, OSD to President and Member, Governing Body, NBEMS said, "All eyes of the nation are on NBEMS for the conduct of NEET PG 2024 and we will not let down the hope of the nation. We will conduct the test through a computer-based test (CBT) mode throughout the country."

The National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducted the NEET-UG exams, is facing criticism over alleged irregularities in the exams. This resulted in several protests across the country, with protestors and political parties demanding to disband the NTA.

The Ministry of Education said it has constituted a high-level committee of experts to make recommendations on reforms in the mechanism of the examination process, improvements in data security protocols and the functioning of the NTA.


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