Pradeep Singh Kharola Appointed Director General of NTA

Ministry of education

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has appointed Pradeep Singh Kharola, a retired IAS officer from the 1985 Kerala cadre, as the new Director General of the National Testing Agency (NTA), Ministry of Education. Kharola, who currently serves as the chairman and managing director of the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), succeeds Subodh Kumar Singh in this role.

Kharola’s appointment comes amid a period of upheaval for the NTA, marked by the cancellation and postponement of major exams such as NEET-UG, UGC NET, and CSIR UGC NET. The Ministry of Education has turned to Kharola, known for his extensive administrative experience, to lead the NTA during this challenging time.

Kharola held significant positions, including the civil aviation secretary in 2019, and later shifted to ITPO in 2022. He will oversee the NTA until a permanent replacement is appointed or further orders are issued.

His appointment is critical as the NTA faces scrutiny over allegations of paper leaks and inconsistent marking practices in the NEET UG exam. These issues have eroded public confidence, prompting calls for immediate reforms. The government expects Kharola’s public administration and crisis management expertise to restore the NTA’s credibility.

Also read: H.E. Aisha Abdulla Miran appointed as the Director General of KHDA

Kharola’s primary focus will be implementing stricter security measures to prevent future paper leaks and ensure transparent examinations. He is also expected to review and refine testing procedures and marking schemes to address discrepancies. A seven-member committee has also been established to evaluate the NTA’s functioning and recommend necessary reforms. Kharola’s leadership will be vital in collaborating with this committee to enhance transparency and accountability within the agency.

The success of Kharola’s tenure at the NTA will be measured by his ability to restore public trust in the organisation. By prioritising transparency, fair testing procedures, and robust security measures, Kharola has the potential to pave the way for a brighter future for India’s competitive examinations.


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