NEET-UG row: NTA gears up to conduct re-test of 1,563 students

Petition filed in Supreme Court, seeking a CBI probe in to alleged paper leak in NEET-UG 2024 exam and manipulations at a few examination centres; Congress demands NTA chief's removal

NEET-UG retest

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct the re-examination of 1,563 candidates, who were awarded grace marks in the National Eligibility cum Entrance (NEET UG) 2024 on June 23.

The apex court gave this direction while disposing of a petition that challenged the NTA’s decision to award compensatory marks to the candidates of six centres due to lost time. It also allowed the proposal to cancel the existing scorecards of the affected candidates.

Earlier, the court had issued notices to the examination centres and NTA and asked them to reply why not the result of NEET UG be cancelled. A petitioner in the SC had demanded cancellation of the NEET UG result. The court also noted that the sanctity of the medical entrance examination has been affected due to NTA’s conduct.

Also Read: Students allege CTET question paper leak, CBSE maintains silence

Lucknow bench of HC asks NTA to produce original records

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court asked NTA to furnish original records of a student, who has claimed that she has not yet received the NEET result.

Students, educators question grant of grace marks

A section of students, parents and educators wondered why the NTA awarded grace marks to selected medical aspirants to top the NEET UG result. “Few students scored 718 and 719 marks, and some scored 720 marks to become toppers, which was possible because NTA decided to award grace marks to them,” claimed a student.

Grace marks system was duly approved: NTA DG

In a press conference conducted last week, NTA’s director-general pointed out that the decision to give grace marks was taken as per a committee’s recommendation. It added that those candidates were affected by time loss due to the distribution of wrong question papers and/or torn OMR sheets.

Also Read: Parents paid up to ₹50 lakh to get NEET question paper: EOU

Another four-member committee has been formed to review the issue. The agency said a final decision, including the possibility of a re-examination, will be made after the committee submits a report, which is likely within a week.

NTA issued FAQs to resolve issues

As the controversy erupted over incongruity in the results, the NTA released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers along with it to clarify the allegations and concerns regarding the conduct of the exam, rewarding of marks, compensatory marks and more.

Dharmendra Pradhan says no paper leak in NEET-UG

In the midst of a controversy over the NEET-UG results, which was declared on June 4, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that there was no evidence of a paper leak. The Pradhan made this remarks when the NTA announced that a NEET retest would be conducted for 1,563 candidates who were given ‘grace marks’ for ‘loss of time.’ It said that these ‘grace marks’ stand withdrawn.

Also Read: NEET UG 2023: NTA to reopen registration window on April 11

Congress seeks NTA DG’s removal of exam irregularities

The Congress reiterated its demand for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the NEET exam issue, and asserted that the anger in the country over the matter will “reverberate inside Parliament as well”. The Opposition party also demanded the removal of the NTA director general and claimed that the BJP government’s attitude towards the ongoing demand for an inquiry into the NEET examination is “irresponsible and insensitive”.

Plea filed in SC for CBI probe in to alleged paper leak

A section of medical aspirants, who undertook NEET-UG 2024, have filed a plea in the Supreme Court, seeking a CBI inquiry into alleged instances of paper leak and malpractices in the conduct of the NEET-UG 2024 exam by NTA on May 5. The petitioners also alleged that NEET UG papers were leaked in advance and the exam centre indulged in the manipulations. They also wondered why students from states like Odisha, Karnataka and Jharkhand opted to travel to hundreds of kilometres to take the exam at a centre at Godhra, Gujarat. They claimed that such activities hints at gross manipulations in the exam. The case is likely to come up for hearing on July 8.

Also Read: Question paper leaks become order of the day in Bihar

Paper leak racket in UP, Bihar

The petitioners in the SC claimed a first information report (FIR No.358/ 2024) was lodged at Shastri Nagar police station in Patna regarding the NEET UG paper leak. They also alleged the gang involved in the racked had leaked the paper from Uttar Pradesh over a ₹60-crore deal.

The petitioners stated that the Economic and Cyber Crimes Division, Bihar Police has taken over the investigation from the Bihar Police after considering the prima facie evidence of pre-planned involvement of an organized gang in this case. The petitioners argued that the NTA’s denial of the paper leak, despite police cases and arrests, does not inspire confidence.

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