Crumbling agencies

Something is terribly wrong with India’s examination system. The allegations of paper leakage and serious irregularities have been plaguing the system, leading to the erosion of public faith in government agencies. After a string of flip-flops and much dilly-dallying, the Centre has finally cracked the whip and removed the chief of the National Testing Agency (NTA) and entrusted the CBI with the task of probing the alleged irregularities in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) (NEET-UG), a nationwide entrance examination conducted by the NTA for admission to undergraduate medical programmes. A committee has also been constituted to suggest an overhaul of the examination system. In fact, there is an urgent need for comprehensive reforms in the testing procedures.

The NEET medical entrance exam is also under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. In this year’s NEET-UG, a record-breaking 23 lakh candidates got themselves registered. The last-minute cancellation of the NEET-PG examination reflects an utter insensitivity on the part of the authorities.

What could have been announced a day or two in advance was done just hours before the candidates were supposed to take the test. The inconvenience, hassle and mental trauma such decisions result in were hardly factored in. Earlier, the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test, for the appointment of Assistant Professors, Junior Research Fellowships and admission to PhD in universities, was cancelled just a day after it was conducted. It was not only a major embarrassment for the govt  but also a betrayal of faith reposed by lakhs of candidates across the country.