NEET Controversy Continues: Grace Marks Scrapped, Re-Test Option Offered to Affected Students

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  • NTA to re-evaluate NEET-UG 2024 results of 1,563 candidates
  • Re-test for affected candidates scheduled for June 23
  • Those opting for the re-test will have their original scorecards cancelled, while those who choose not to appear for the re-examination will have their scores based on the May 5 examination without the grace marks.
  • Supreme Court says it won’t halt NEET-UG counselling
  • The NEET-UG 2024 examination, conducted across 4,750 centers for nearly 24 lakh students on May 5, has been mired in controversy, with allegations of question paper leaks and questionable grace marks.

In a significant development concerning the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024 examination, the National Testing Agency (NTA) revealed to the Supreme Court that it has initiated steps to address the concerns raised regarding the awarding of “grace marks” to certain candidates. More than 1,563 NEET-UG 2024 aspirants were initially awarded these marks to compensate for the time lost during the examination.

The NTA disclosed that a committee has been constituted to reassess the results of these candidates. After thorough deliberation, the committee arrived at the decision to invalidate the scorecards of these 1,563 candidates. As a recourse, affected students will be given the option to participate in a re-test, scheduled for June 23. The results of this re-examination are expected to be announced before June 30, as per the NTA’s submission to the apex court.

A bench comprising two judges of the Supreme Court was presiding over petitions, including one filed by the CEO of an education technology firm, Physics Wallah, highlighting alleged irregularities in NEET-UG 2024.

In response to these petitions, the Supreme Court acceded to the Centre’s proposal to offer the 1,563 affected candidates the opportunity to undergo re-testing. Those opting for the re-test will have their original scorecards cancelled, while those who choose not to appear for the re-examination will have their scores based on the May 5 examination without the grace marks.

Furthermore, the court directed the NTA to expedite the announcement of results before June 30 to facilitate the commencement of counselling from July 6. However, petitions concerning alleged malpractices during the NEET exam were adjourned and scheduled to be heard alongside other related petitions on July 8.

During the proceedings, the Centre’s counsel informed the bench that the NTA panel found the awarding of compensatory marks to be problematic, particularly as these marks were confined to unattempted questions, creating an imbalanced situation.

Emphasizing the urgency of resolving the matter, the court underscored its commitment to ensuring the continuity of the NEET-UG 2024 counselling process without interruption, noting the broader implications of any disruptions.

The NEET-UG 2024 examination, conducted across 4,750 centers for nearly 24 lakh students on May 5, has been mired in controversy, with allegations of question paper leaks and questionable grace marks. These allegations have prompted protests and legal challenges across multiple high courts and the Supreme Court.

Of particular concern is the unprecedented achievement of a perfect score of 720 by 67 students, with six of them originating from a single center in Faridabad, Haryana, raising suspicions of malpractice. Additionally, protests erupted in Delhi on June 10, with students demanding an investigation into the alleged irregularities, particularly regarding the distribution of grace marks, which some argue unfairly contributed to the surge in top scorers.

(With inputs from agencies)

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