CPI(M) demands HRD minister's resignation over paper-leak row

In a statement, the CPI(M) said the leak is not just a result of corruption, but also of centralisation, commercialisation and communalisation of education

Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan
Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan


The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday demanded Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan's resignation amid a raging controversy around the National Testing Agency (NTA) in the wake of paper-leak allegations and cancellations of exams.

In a statement, the CPI(M) politburo said it is "deeply anguished over the sinister developments which have engulfed the centralised all-India examination processes".

Mentioning exams like the NEET-PG and UGC-NET, which have been cancelled, the Left party said, "The combined impact of this are irregularities and complete collapse of the processes which affects vital sectors of higher education in the country."

The statement said it is not just a result of corruption, but also of centralisation, commercialisation and communalisation of education.

"This is not merely the result of corruption, which is prima facie established. This has emerged from centralisation, commercialisation and communalisation in the education sphere and which is an essential ingredient of the National Education Policy," it said.

The CPI(M) said asking the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the allegations is an approach to "whitewash" and demanded the minister's resignation as well as the scrapping of the NEET.

"The new government summoning the services of the CBI to investigate these scams confirms its approach to whitewash, like it did with the Vyapam scam. These reflect the complete collapse of the policy prescriptions in higher education for which the entire government is accountable, particularly the HRD minister. He must resign," the statement said.

"The politburo demands that in a country as big and as diverse as India, the centralisation of governance of higher education should be reversed and the first step should be to scrap the centralised NEET exams," the Left party said.

Every state should be allowed their own separate procedures for conducting admission tests to regulate entry into professional educational institutions, it added.

On Saturday, the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-PG, conducted for admission to postgraduate medical courses and scheduled to be held on June 23, was postponed as a "precautionary measure" in the wake of recent allegations on the integrity of some competitive exams, including the NEET-Undergraduate (UG).

On Friday, the June edition of the Joint Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (CSIR-NET) was postponed citing unavoidable circumstances and logistical issues.

It came two days after the agency cancelled the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) within 24 hours of its conduct, saying the integrity of the exam had been compromised and a massive row has erupted regarding the NEET-UG over alleged irregularities, with the issue now before the Supreme Court.

All these exams are conducted by the NTA.

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