NEET exam row: Pradhan slams Congress, says it wants to run away from discussion in Parliament

Pradhan's comment followed Rahul Gandhi's call for PM Modi to conduct a respectful discussion in Parliament on NEET exam irregularities.
Union Education Minster Dharmendra Pradhan arrives to attend the Parliament session, in New Delhi, Friday, June 28, 2024.
Union Education Minster Dharmendra Pradhan arrives to attend the Parliament session, in New Delhi, Friday, June 28, 2024. PTI

CHANDIGARH: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday slammed the Congress, saying it wants to run away from a discussion in Parliament over the NEET exam issue.

His remark came a day after Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold a "respectful" and good discussion in Parliament on the issue of alleged irregularities in the conduct of the NEET exam.

Replying to a question on the opposition targeting the BJP-led Centre over the NEET exam issue, Pradhan said, "The Congress does not want a discussion. It wants to run away from the discussion. It's only intention is to create chaos, confusion and create obstacles in smooth functioning of the entire institutional mechanism."

He said the president had also talked about the NEET exam issue, being raised by the Congress, in her address in Parliament.

He further said the opposition had a chance to raise this issue during the motion of thanks to the President's address and asserted the government was ready for any type of discussion.

"But the Congress wants to play politics over the matter. It is not the time to play politics," Pradhan told reporters after the first session of the Haryana BJP's extended state executive meeting got over in Panchkula.

Without naming anyone, he further said such irregularities took place before 2014, apparently pointing towards the previous UPA regime at the Centre.

"I could not justify it," he said.

On steps being taken for zero-error examinations, the minister said a high-level committee of experts under the chairmanship of former ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan has been formed for the reform of the National Testing Agency (NTA).

"A strong law has been formed against public examination and disruption," he added.

Pradhan further said the matter pertaining to alleged irregularities in the medical entrance exam NEET-UG has been handed over to the CBI.

"We are meeting students and parents," he said.

To another question, he said the date of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, Post Graduate will be announced by the NBE (National Board of Examinations) in one or two days.

The opposition caused repeated disruptions in Parliament Friday over the NEET paper leak issue.

NEET-UG was conducted by the NTA on May 5 with around 24 lakh candidates appearing.

The results were announced on June 4, but they were followed by allegations of question paper leaks in states such as Bihar, besides other irregularities.

The Education Ministry also cancelled the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) and NEET (postgraduate) examinations after receiving inputs that the exams' "integrity may have been compromised.

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