‘Exam warrior Narendra Modi…’: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi slams PM amid NEET row

In a strongly-worded tweet, Owaisi accused Modi of jeopardizing the futures of millions of students across the country and shattering the dreams of their parents.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 23, 2024 | 3:08 PM Updated Jun 23, 2024 | 3:08 PM

Asaduddin Owaisi in Bihar

AIMIM president, Asaduddin Owaisi, launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi regarding recent irregularities in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) or NEET-UG, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), and cancellation of other exams including the UGC-NET due to question paper leaks.

The Hyderabad MP placed the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the prime minister and his ministers, emphasising the need for accountability.

In a strongly-worded tweet, Owaisi accused Modi of jeopardizing the futures of millions of students across the country and shattering the dreams of their parents.

““Exam warrior” Narendra Modi has waged a war on our youth’s future. First it was NEET UG (~23 lakh students), then UGC-NET (~9 lakh students). Then CSIR-NET was cancelled (~2 lakh students). NEET-PG (~2 lakh) was cancelled a night before the exam,” he wrote on X.

“The responsibility lies with Modi & his ministers. Our youth deserve an apology from the PM & justice from his govt,” Owaisi further wrote.

“NEET exam has become a joke,” he had claimed earlier, demanding a Supreme Court-monitored re-examination.

“Have some shame, BJP people. Twenty-four lakh children (appeared for the exam). You are saying we will conduct a re-exam for only 1,500 and take away grace marks. There should be a total re-exam. The NTA is nonsense. Its head is an RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) man from Madhya Pradesh,” Owaisi had said.

Also Read: NEET-UG row: SC refuses to defer counselling, issues notices on plea to cancel 5 May exam

NEET fiasco

The NEET-UG was held on 5 May across 4,750 centres, with around 24 lakh candidates taking part. The results were expected to be declared on 14 June but were announced on 4 June, apparently because the evaluation of the answer sheets got completed earlier.

As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720 in NEET-UG, unprecedented in the NTA’s history. Among them, six students from a centre in Haryana’s Faridabad figured in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

Allegations of question paper leaks in states such as Bihar, along with other exam irregularities, have sparked widespread unrest. These issues have led to protests in several cities and prompted the filing of petitions in various high courts and the Supreme Court.

While hearing separate pleas on the NEET (Undergraduate)-2024 examination, the apex court had on 18 June said even if there was “0.001 per cent negligence” on the part of anyone in the conduct of the examination, it should be thoroughly dealt with.

The examination is conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country.

Also Read: NEET aspirants say little faith in NTA, want retest option for all candidates

NEET-PG, UGC-NET, CSIR-UGC-NET exams

The NEET-PG entrance examination which was scheduled for Sunday, 23 June, has also been postponed, with a fresh date for the examination yet to be announced.

The eleventh-hour decision to postpone the exam has left the student bodies miffed.

The UGC-NET, 2024, exam for the selection of junior research fellows, assistant professors and PhD scholars was conducted by the NTA on 18 June in two shifts across the country.

The next day, the University Grants Commission received inputs from the National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (l4C) that the paper was available on the darknet and was allegedly being sold for ₹5-6 lakh on messaging platforms, sources said.

According to the complaint from the Education Ministry, the inputs from I4C, which functions under the Union Home Ministry, “prima-facie indicate that the integrity of the examination may have been compromised”, officials said.

“To ensure the highest level of transparency and sanctity of the examination process, the Ministry of Education, Government of India, has decided to cancel the aforesaid examination and to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation for a thorough investigation in the matter,” the reference note from the Secretary, Education Ministry, K Sanjay Murthy said.

The NTA announced on Friday, 21 June, that the Joint Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and UGC- NET examination scheduled for 25 June to 27 June, has been postponed, due to “unavoidable circumstances and logistical issues.”

The Joint CSIR-UGC NET exam determines eligibility for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Lectureship (LS)/Assistant Professor roles in Indian universities and colleges.

The CBI registered an FIR into the UGC-NET paper leak case on Thursday, 20 June, against unidentified persons on a reference from the Union Education Ministry, officials said.

The central agency will be probing the alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG exam as well.

For transparency on the conduct of the examination process, the Ministry of Education, Government of India, after a review has decided to entrust the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for comprehensive investigation, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday, 22 June.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)

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