Something is Seriously Wrong with the National Testing Agency’s (NTA) Functioning!

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NTA
  • Lakhs of aspiring students looking forward to getting admission into professional institutions must feel let down by the turn of events in the last couple of weeks vis-à-vis the National Testing Agency (NTA) conducted entrance exams. Remember, every parent wishes to provide better educational opportunities to their wards in the hope that they will make them proud and contribute to self-growth and the larger interest of the nation’s forward march. One of the gateways to realizing the same is to get admission into some of the prestigious higher educational institutions. Ideally speaking, the clamor to get admission into IITs, IIMs, and AIIMS must have been equally complemented by government agencies like the NTA by conducting fair exams flawlessly.

NEET

PC: ExamBaaz

  • Alas, what has transpired in the country is not only shocking to the lakhs of students but also to every conscientious countryman who believed in the sanctity of the exam conducting agency’s ability to deliver on expected lines. Let’s look at how the events unfolded of late. Last week, on 19th June, the education ministry canceled the UGC-NET exam, conducted a day earlier, fearing a paper leak. On 22nd June, it postponed the NEET-PG exam scheduled for the next day, over logistical issues. When seen together with NEET-UG controversies, the message is loud and clear: something is seriously wrong with the NTA’s functioning. Fixing the problem poses the first big challenge for the new NDA govt. How is it going to restore the lost faith among lakhs of students?
  • Note that the crisis may have blown up this year, but the signs have been there for years. Exams like NEET and JEE conducted by NTA have run into controversies regularly. In NEET 2022, the CBI had to step in following allegations of impersonation in the exam. In 2021, a Russian hacker even hacked into the software for that year’s JEE to help examinees cheat. It is the reluctance of authorities to take timely action against such episodes that is responsible for the present mess. This was made clear, when despite ample evidence, the education ministry remained in denial of a paper leak in this year’s NEET, ordering a CBI inquiry only on 22nd What is galling is that the NTA was put in place precisely to weed out issues we are facing today.

PGExams

PC: The Indian Express

  • Thus, one of the questions that need to be asked is whether there are built-in flaws in conducting a mammoth exam like NEET, with 2.4mn examinees taking it in 13 languages across 4,500 centers. Welcomingly, the government has set up a high-powered committee to examine NTA’s functioning and recommend ways for fair conduct of exams. It has also brought into effect the Public Examination (Prevention) of Unfair Means) Act, 2024 to prevent the use of unfair means in public exams. Apart from getting rid of flaws, genuine reforms that address the spectrum of concerns that experts have been raising must be addressed. Stopping the paper leaks, conducting more exams, and decentralizing the exams altogether should be duly considered.