News Brief

Grace Marks Is The Lesser Problem, NEET Still Not Able To Convincingly Dismiss Leak Allegations

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 14, 2024, 01:09 PM | Updated 01:13 PM IST

 Students check NEET medical entrance exam results. (Representative Image) Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)
Students check NEET medical entrance exam results. (Representative Image) Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)
  • Despite the NTA's clarification, concerns persist over the integrity of the NEET exam due to allegations of paper leaks.
  • The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Thursday (13 June) scrapped the grace marks awarded to 1,563 NEET-UG 2024 candidates from six centres across the country.

    These students can now opt for a re-test on 23 June, with results expected on 30 June.

    However, this move has done little to quell the widespread concerns surrounding the integrity of the NEET exam, as allegations of paper leaks and irregularities persist.

    Around 24 lakh students appeared for the NEET UG 2024 medical entrance exam, and the allegations of paper leak and irregularities appeared before that.

    The controversy became national headlines after the results were declared on 4 June and the issue of grace marks came to the fore.

    The issue gained traction when marksheets of successful candidates, with record 67 candidates securing the top rank with perfect score, surfaced on social media.

    Critics pointed out that six of these top scorers were from the same exam centre, raising suspicions of foul play.

    Students and coaching centres have alleged that scores were arbitrarily adjusted, significantly impacting rankings.

    Several NEET-UG candidates also moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI investigation into the alleged instances of paper leak and malpractices in the conduct of the NEET-UG 2024 exam on 5 May this year.

    Earlier last month, the Economic Offences Unit of Bihar Police, which has been investigating the NEET 'paper leak' case, revealed that question papers and answers were allegedly leaked to around 35 aspirants before the 5 May exam.

    So far, 13 people, including four candidates and several parents involved in an organised scheme, have been arrested in the case.

    Despite the growing controversy over paper leak allegations, the NTA has maintained that the exam's sanctity remains intact.

    In a statement, NTA Director General Subodh Kumar emphasised that the issues were isolated to six centres out of 4,750, affecting only a small fraction of the 24 lakh candidates.

    Kumar assured that a thorough analysis confirmed no widespread compromise or paper leak.

    "We have analysed all the things transparently and declared the results," Kumar said.

    "Out of 4,750 exam centres, the problem was limited to six centres, and out of 24 lakh candidates, only 1,600 candidates were affected. The integrity of this exam throughout the country was not compromised," he added.

    "We analysed our system and there was no paper leak," Kumar had said.

    However, these reassurances have not placated the critics.

    Political parties have also seized upon the issue, demanding a thorough probe.

    The Congress has called for a Supreme Court-monitored probe, asserting that the public's anger will echo in Parliament.

    Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi has accused the Union Education Minister of shielding the NTA, citing the Bihar Police's findings of a paper leak.

    The Maharashtra government has demanded the immediate cancellation of the exam, arguing that the current results have caused injustice to the students from the state. 

    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, who has been a vocal opponent of the NEET exam, reiterated the DMK's stance against the national medical entrance exam.

    The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also been demanding a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe.

    Also Read: Rajasthan Seeks FSSAI Action After Insecticides, Pesticides Found In Popular Spice Brands Samples — All About It

    Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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