Centre's panel on exam reforms to interact with parents, students; take stock of concerns, ET HealthWorld

Centre's panel on exam reforms to interact with parents, students; take stock of concerns, ET HealthWorld


New Delhi: The Education Ministry's panel on examination reforms will speak to parents and students to understand their concerns and challenges about the examination process. According to officials, the panel will speak to parents and students to understand their concerns and challenges about the examination process amid the ongoing controversy over alleged irregularities in competitive exams NEET and NET. The seven-member panel, headed by former ISRO chief R Radhakrishnan, held its first meeting on Monday evening.

“Our first priority is to reach out to students and parents across the country to know their concerns and suggestions. We will reach out to them as much as possible either in person or through electronic media. And we would like to strengthen this in the next fortnight,” Radhakrishnan told reporters on Tuesday.

He said, “Our next priority is to build a robust system soon to start testing. We are also looking towards the future, especially to develop a robust system in this country, a tamper-proof system, a zero error system and a system which will reduce the difficulties and stress of students with adequate flexibility.”

According to sources present in the meeting, the committee took stock of the current situation and challenges facing the National Testing Agency (NTA).

“The panel was apprised of the existing processes and functioning of the agency. The panel also looked at the data provided regarding various examinations conducted by the NTA and the number of candidates appearing in each exam,” a source said.

“The panel also looked at which exams are conducted in pen and paper mode and which are conducted as computer-based tests (CBT), and also looked into the nuances of both modes,” the source said.

During its meeting, the committee is believed to have also discussed cyber security issues and challenges posed by the darknet, where the UGC-NET exam question paper was leaked for the first time, forcing the Education Ministry to cancel the exam the very next day of the exam.

According to ministry officials, the reforms suggested by the panel are likely to be implemented by the next exam cycle.

“It is a huge task and has to be done with utmost preparation so that there are no loopholes, but it is also the most important priority of the ministry at the moment. The panel will submit its report within two months and we will prepare an action plan to implement the reforms by the next exam cycle,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

Amid criticism over alleged irregularities in medical entrance exam NEET and PhD entrance exam NET, the Centre had on Saturday notified the panel to ensure transparent, smooth and fair conduct of the examinations through NTA.

While NEET is under scrutiny over several irregularities including alleged leaks, UGC-NET was cancelled after the ministry received inputs that the integrity of the exam was compromised. Two other exams – CSIR-UGC NET and NEET PG – were cancelled as a preventive step.

The panel will make recommendations on improving the mechanism of the examination process, improving data security protocols and structure and functioning of the NTA.

The panel also includes former AIIMS Delhi director Randeep Guleria, Hyderabad Central University vice-chancellor BJ Rao, IIT Madras civil engineering department professor emeritus K Ramamurthy, People Strong co-founder and Karmayogi Bharat board member Pankaj Bansal, IIT Delhi student affairs dean Aditya Mittal and education ministry joint secretary Govind Jaiswal.

The Committee has also been tasked to examine the existing security protocols relating to setting of question papers and other processes for various examinations and to make recommendations for enhancing the robustness of the system.

  • Published on June 25, 2024 at 04:17 PM IST

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