Former ISRO Chief Appointed to Lead Reforms for National Testing Agency

New Delhi: A high-level expert committee was formed by the Ministry of Education in response to ongoing concerns over the management of India’s premier competitive exams, UGC-NET and NEET-UG on Saturday. This move aims to ensure that the National Testing Agency’s (NTA) examinations are transparent, straightforward, and fair.

The seven-member committee will be led by Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, former ISRO chief, as stated by the Ministry of Education.

This decision follows the cancellation of the UGC-NET exam after its question paper was discovered on the dark web, raising substantial debate about the examination process. Additionally, reports of irregularities in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical school admissions have intensified scrutiny on the NTA.

The primary responsibilities of the high-level committee include reforming the examination procedure, enhancing data security standards, and improving the NTA’s organization and operations.

The committee, expected to deliver its findings in approximately two months, comprises notable experts: Dr. Randeep Guleria, Former Director of AIIMS Delhi; Professor B. J. Rao, Vice-Chancellor of Central University of Hyderabad; Professor Ramamurthy K., Emeritus Professor in the Civil Engineering Department of IIT Madras; Pankaj Bansal, Board Member and Co-founder of PeopleStrong; Aditya Mittal, Faculty Member of IIT Delhi and Dean of Students; Govind Jaiswal, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Education, serving as Member Secretary.

The committee’s main objective is to propose reforms to the testing procedures. This includes a comprehensive review of the entire examination process and recommendations to improve system efficiency and security.

Additionally, the committee will conduct a thorough analysis of the NTA’s protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs), suggesting enhancements and developing stringent compliance monitoring systems.

A key focus will be on evaluating and improving the NTA’s current data security measures, aiming to fortify the system’s resilience and protect against breaches. This involves a detailed assessment of existing security mechanisms governing paper-setting and other examination processes.

Furthermore, the committee will review the NTA’s management and organizational structure to identify areas for improvement.

This initiative marks a significant step toward ensuring the integrity and reliability of India’s competitive examinations, with the expert committee poised to deliver crucial recommendations for systemic improvement.

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