Can Dharmendra Pradhan derail Narendra Modi Express?

Paper leaks protest against NTA

Image credit X @NSUI

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Dharmendra Pradhan emerges weak link in Modi govt amid raging students’ protests

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, June 22: Around midnight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government criminalized offences of paper leaks. The culprits may invite jail terms of three to five years.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) yesterday postponed the joint CSIR-UGC-NET examinations. They were scheduled during June 25-27.

“The examinations are being postponed due to unfavouarble circumstances and logistical issues,” the NTA said in a statement yesterday.

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The Bihar Police have already detained a few alleged kingpins of paper leaks. The police in some other states had also cracked the gangs involved in paper leaks of entrance and recruitment examinations.

The mid-night notification of the government to criminalize the paper leaks offences appears to be a face-saver mover. The police already had enough sections in the existing criminal laws to smash the paper leaks gangs.

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The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has lately woken up to piggyback ride the students’ agitations against the paper leaks. The ABVP is seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the alleged paper leaks in the NEET-UG (National Eligibility cum Entrance for undergraduate) medical education.

The ABVP is apparently seeking to partake in the spotlight that the Congress’ National Students Union of India (NSUI) had gained from the protests. The NSUI has been holding protests against the alleged paper leaks in the NEET-UG for over a month now.

Union Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan showed signs of being frozen under the intense torchlight of the students’ protests. He had been blundering in defence of his ministry.

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Television media is fast becoming aware that the TRP is going down in showing Modi and his magical touch on the life of the people 24X7. Th students’ protests now give better TRP.

Still, television media showed Modi and his fellow politicians showing their Yoga skills. But some of them came out with packages to partake in the students’ protests.

Pradhan retained the portfolio of education as a part of Modi sticking with continuity in the government. This is inviting wrath of protestors who claim that the paper leaks are now new normal in the education system.

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Former president of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi, yesterday held a special discussion with a few students. The agitating students told Gandhi that the incidents of paper leaks are norms in the examination system.

Gandhi has vowed that his party will give voice to the protesting students, from street to parliament. The Congress leader’s pocket of issues to corner Modi is already bulging ahead of the parliament session.

Years ago, George Fernandes had faced the combined Opposition wrath for the alleged ‘Coffingate’ in the aftermath of the Kargil War. The Opposition boycotted Fernandes.

The writing on the wall suggests that Pradhan may need to take a quick look at the prolonged hounding of Fernandes. The late socialist had failed to find relief despite Atal Bihari Vajpayee helming the government at that time.

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