NET Exam Cancellation: Dreams of Thousands of Students Shattered

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 Education experts raise serious questions about the integrity of the whole examination process

Mohammad Alamullah | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – The dreams of many aspirants were shattered when the UGC NET 2024 exam was abruptly cancelled following allegations of a paper leak. The decision, taken by the National Testing Agency (NTA) just a day after the exam on Tuesday, has left thousands of candidates in despair and confusion.

Rahul (name changed), a candidate, shared his frustration: “We worked very hard for the exam and hoped to clear it. Before our dream could be fulfilled, the paper got cancelled. Now we will have to take the exam again. Whether that will be foolproof or not, the question will keep troubling the mind.”

His words resonate with many others who had put their hopes on this exam. For several students, this exam was a critical step towards their career goals.

The cancellation of the exam has raised significant concerns about the integrity of the whole process. The NTA stated that the decision was taken due to suspicions of a paper leak. This is not the first time that a major exam in India has faced such issues. The recent NEET exam also faced similar allegations, leading to widespread uproar.

Many candidates, like Rahul, had travelled long distances, often enduring significant hardships, to take the exam. “I did not believe. I feel cheated. All I have to ask is, what is our fault? We had come to appear in the exam after preparing very hard. Now we have to prepare for the exam again,” another student said.

The sudden cancellation has not only disrupted the plans of the students but also shaken their confidence in the examination system. For many, this exam was a crucial opportunity to secure a better future. The children of middle-class families, in particular, face immense pressure to succeed in such competitive exams. Their parents often make significant financial and personal sacrifices to support their education.

“What is the fault of the students? Our children prepare for the exam with great hard work, and when they come back after taking the exam, they come to know that the paper has been leaked. This not only spoils the hard work of the children but also breaks their morale,” said a distressed parent.

The recurring issue of paper leaks in competitive exams has raised serious questions about the effectiveness of the NTA and other examination bodies. Experts argue that the system is failing to protect the integrity of these exams. “There is a failure of the system in such cases. In such a big exam, the education mafia is often busy finding ways to leak the paper,” said an education expert.

The NEET exam, which saw over 23 lakh candidates, also faced similar challenges. Despite the establishment of thousands of examination centres across the country, the issue of paper leaks persists. “Why can’t the NTA or the government make foolproof preparations for any exam? Is there any real solution to paper leaks? How are papers getting leaked in such important competitive exams?” questioned another expert.

As the students prepare to retake the exam, they are left grappling with uncertainty and a lack of trust in the system. The government and the NTA need to address these issues urgently to restore confidence among students and parents.

Rahul, like many others, is now left to prepare for the exam once again, albeit with a heavy heart. “How can we prepare for the exam with all our heart and soul? Only darkness is there before our eyes,” he said.

The cancellation of the UGC NET 2024 exam has not only disrupted the academic journey of thousands of students but also highlighted the urgent need for reforms in the examination system. Ensuring the integrity and security of competitive exams is crucial to maintaining the trust of students and parents alike.

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