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Radhakrishnan-led panel may need two months to suggest NTA reforms: Here's what you should know

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NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Education recently announced the formation of a high-level committee of experts, led by former ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan, to ensure that examinations are conducted transparently, smoothly, and fairly through the National Testing Agency.

The seven-member committee held its first meeting on Monday, June 24, at the IIT Delhi campus. The committee is tasked with recommending reforms in the examination process, improving data security protocols, and reviewing the structure and functioning of the NTA . According to ministry officials, these reforms are likely to be implemented by the next exam cycle.

"It is a mammoth task and must be done with complete preparation to ensure there are no loopholes. However, it is also the most important priority of the ministry right now. The panel will submit its report within two months, and we will draw an action plan to implement the reforms by the next exam cycle," an official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

Ministry's panel to seek suggestions from students and parents

“Our top priority is to hear from the students and parents of this country, to understand their concerns and gather their suggestions,” Radhakrishnan said. The panel will engage with parents and students to understand their concerns and challenges regarding the examination process, especially amid controversies over alleged irregularities in competitive exams like NEET and NET.

"The first priority for us is to gather concerns and suggestions from students and parents across the country. We will engage with them as much as possible, in person or through electronic media. Over the next fortnight, we aim to consolidate this feedback," Radhakrishnan told reporters on Tuesday.

"Our next priority is to quickly build a robust system for conducting the tests. We are looking to develop a tamper-proof system with zero errors that will lessen difficulties and stress for students while incorporating adequate flexibility," he added.

During its meeting, the committee also discussed cybersecurity issues and challenges posed by the darknet, where the UGC-NET exam question paper was leaked, forcing the Education Ministry to cancel it the following day.

The high-level panel will make recommendations on reforms in the examination process, improving data security protocols, and the structure and functioning of the NTA.

CBI investigation for NEET UG underway; NRA to develop CBT guidelines
On Monday, the CBI took over five new cases of alleged malpractices in the NEET UG 2024 exam, which were previously investigated by police in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Bihar. This comes as the opposition assured the public it would bring the paper leak matter to Parliament.

Additionally, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra police arrested a Zilla Parishad school teacher from Latur and registered a case against four individuals after discovering a racket that helped NEET students willing to pay money to pass the exam.

The Centre also notified the rules under the recently passed anti-paper leak law, mandating the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to prepare norms, standards, and guidelines for computer-based tests.
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