Kerala innerwear removal row: NTA sets up fact-finding committee
New Delhi, July 20, 2022
The National Testing Agency (NTA) has constituted a fact-finding committee to ascertain the facts in the alleged incident in Kerala where a girl appearing for NEET-UG 2022 was allegedly asked to remove her innerwear as part of the measures to prevent cheating in the examination.
"It has been brought to the notice of Ministry of Education through various media reports that an incident allegedly happened in one of the Centre’s of NEET(UG)- 2022 near Kollam district in Kerala. NTA has already issued a clarification in this regard," a press release from the Ministry of Education said.
"Further, V. Muraleedharan, MOS, Ministry of External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs and other public representatives from Kerala have met Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today. Dr. R. Bindu, Minister of Higher Education and Social Justice, Government of Kerala has also written a letter to Union Education Minister.
"In view of the above, the Ministry of Education has asked the National Testing Agency to ascertain all the facts about the incident on the spot from stakeholders present at the Centre at that time," the release said.
Accordingly, a Fact Finding Committee has been constituted by the NTA to ascertain the facts in detail. Further action will be taken based on the report of the Fact Finding Committee, it added.
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate) or NEET (UG) is an all India pre-medical entrance test for students who wish to pursue undergraduate medical (MBBS), dental (BDS) and AYUSH (BAMS, BUMS, BHMS, etc.) courses in government and private institutions in India.
The incident was reported from the Marthoma Institute of Information Technology, Ayur, near Thiruvanathapuram, in the examination held on Sunday.
The officials involved in the conduct of the examination said that, on the receipt of the report, immediate comments of the Centre Superintendent and the Independent Observer as well as the City Coordinator, Kollam district were obtained. All three of them have inter alia, stated that they did not find any such incident happening in the centre. The candidate did take the examination.
According to the NTA, there was no representation or complaint to any one during or immediately after the examination, and nor had it received any email complaint in this regard. As far as NTA's Dress Code for NEET is concerned, it does not permit any such activity as alleged by the parent of the candidate, an NTA official added.
The NTA said that the code provides for ensuring the sanctity and fairness of conducting the examination, while observing sensitivity towards the gender, religious, cultural, and regional sensitivities involved in frisking and biometric checking of candidates.