News Brief

No Mass Malpractice In NEET-UG Exam: Centre Tells Supreme Court, Cites IIT Madras Report— All About It

Kuldeep Negi

Jul 11, 2024, 11:43 AM | Updated 11:43 AM IST

The Supreme Court of India.
The Supreme Court of India.

The Centre submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court on Wednesday (10 July), denying allegations of mass malpractice in the NEET-UG medical entrance examination held on 5 May.

The Centre's affidavit comes after the Supreme Court had on 8 July directed the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) to submit their responses regarding the extent of the paper leak and measures to distinguish the wrongdoers from other candidates.

The affidavit included an IIT Madras report based on data analysis of the NEET-UG exam, which states "neither any indication of mass malpractice nor a localised set of candidates being benefitted leading to abnormal scores".

"The marks distribution follows the bell-shaped curve that is witnessed in any large-scale examination indicating no abnormality," the affidavit reads.

The parameters used for such study included marks distribution among candidates, city-wise and centre-wise rank distribution, among others.

The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of pleas over alleged irregularities in NEET-UG exam. These petitions include those seeking cancellation of the examination and conducting it afresh, alleging irregularities and malpractices in the 5 May exam.

During a hearing on Monday (8 July), Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud remarked that the leak of the question paper was an "admitted fact" and before making a decision to hold a re-examination, "we must be conscious of the extent of the leak as we are dealing with 23 lakh students", India Today reported.

"The Union of India is taking all-round efforts to devise solution-oriented mechanisms while ensuring that on one hand no candidate guilty of malpractice gets any benefit and on the other hand, ensuring that 23 lakh students are not required to be burdened with a fresh test merely based upon unsupported apprehensions," the affidavit reads.

Allegations of irregularities in the NEET-UG exam, such as paper leaks and discrepancies in grace marks, have led to protests and political outcry across India.

Suspicion arose when an unprecedented 67 students initially scored a perfect 720, including six top scorers from a single centre in Haryana.

The Centre attributed the increase in student scores to a reduction in the syllabus.

"There is an overall increase in the marks obtained by students, specifically in the range of 550 to 720. This increase is seen across the cities and centres. This is attributed to 25 per cent reduction in syllabus. In addition, candidates obtaining such high marks are spread across multiple cities and multiple centers, indicating very less likelihood of malpractice," the Centre's affidavit reads.

The Centre's affidavit also noted that counselling will be conducted in four rounds beginning in the third week of July.

"If a candidate is found beneficiary of any malpractice, his/her candidature would be cancelled at any stage during the counselling process or even afterwards," the affidavit reads.

"If an exercise is to be conducted by NTA and by the Union government so as to identify any further beneficiaries of the question paper leakage, a considered decision at the policy level would have to be taken by the government on the status of the counselling," it further read.

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

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