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2024 UGC NET row: Initial probe finds corruption racket; officials to be probed
Activists protesting against Centre over irregularities in 2024 UGC NET exams. (Image courtesy: Video grab)

2024 UGC NET row: Initial probe finds corruption racket; officials to be probed

| @indiablooms | 20 Jun 2024, 07:25 pm

New Delhi: Initial enquiry into the allegation that the 2024 UGC NET examination may have been compromised indicates involvement of a large corruption racket, media reported.

According to an NDTV report, in view of the findings, officials responsible for conducting the exam, including those tasked with setting question papers, will be under the scanner.

The officials under investigation include academics involved in creating and evaluating question papers, as well as those responsible for editing and checking the prepared question papers.

According to sources, the set practice is to prepare two to three sets of each question paper.

The investigation will also focus on officials involved in printing each question paper and those responsible for transporting the printed documents to examination centers nationwide.

The scrutiny will extend to the latter group due to their unrestricted access to all question papers.

Following the cancellation of the NET, student protests erupted on university campuses nationwide, with students alleging they had raised concerns about paper leaks a week prior to the exam but received no response.

At Lucknow University, students claimed that at least one paper had been leaked and was being sold for as little as Rs 5,000.

They alleged that the leaked paper had circulated widely through WhatsApp and Telegram groups starting from June 16.

More than 11 lakh students had registered for the exam.

In a statement, the Education Ministry said the June exam of the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) was conducted on Tuesday in OMR (pen and paper) mode in two shifts across the country.

"On 19th June, 2024, the University Grants Commission (UGC) received certain inputs from National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs on the Examination. These inputs prima facie indicate that the integrity of the aforesaid examination may have been compromised," it said.

The ministry said it was announcing the cancellation of the June 2024 examination "to ensure the highest level of transparency and sanctity of the examination process" and that it will be held afresh at a date announced later.

There have been reports of the paper of the examination being leaked, but this was not confirmed by the ministry. It said only that the matter had been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation for investigation.

The UGC-NET is conducted twice every year, in June and December.

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