Education minister Pradhan skips Yoga Day event amidst NEET-UG protest

Union education minister was chief guest at Delhi University Yoga Day event where students are staging a protest

Students protesting NEET and UGC NET irregularities in New Delhi (photo: Vipin/NH)
Students protesting NEET and UGC NET irregularities in New Delhi (photo: Vipin/NH)


Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday skipped the Yoga Day event at Delhi University, where some students are staging a protest against alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG and UGC-NET exams.

Pradhan, who was the chief guest for the International Yoga Day event scheduled to begin at 6.00 am, could not attend owing to "some urgent work", DU officials said.

Carrying black flags, members of Left-wing outfit All India Students' Association (AISA) along with other students of the university held their demonstration at the institution's North Campus. The AISA unit of Delhi University claimed that the minister did not attend the event because of the protest.

"In response to the sheer audacity of Pradhan to even think of coming to DU while he and his NTA have jeopardised the future of students, AISA activists along with students of Delhi University raised black flags and protested against his presence in the university," the association said in a statement.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) conducts the medical entrance exam NEET-UG as well as the UGC-NET to determine the eligibility for assistant professors and junior research fellowships in universities and colleges.

During the protest, "students were informed that owing to the fear of protest, the minister of education did not even show up for the event", the AISA said, and added that "the corrupt and arrogant education minister is not welcome in our university".

The students' body also demanded Pradhan's resignation and scrapping of the NTA.

In a press conference late on Thursday, Pradhan took "moral responsibility" for the "institutional failure" of NTA in holding the exams, and said the government will set up a high-level committee to look into its functioning and recommend reforms.

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