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NEET Row: ‘Integrity Of Exam Not Compromised’ — NTA Dismisses ‘Paper Leak’ Claims

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Amid the row regarding irregularities in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2024 results, the Ministry of Education held a press conference on the medical entrance exam at the National Media Centre in New Delhi today. 

NEET was conducted on May 5, 2024 across 571 cities in India in 4750 centres and 14 centres abroad. A total of around 14 lakh candidates registered for the exam, the reuslt of which was declared June 4.

After the NEET results were released, concerns were raised about the authenticity of the national exam after 67 students received full marks, out of which eight belonged to the same examination centre. Furthermore, doubts arose as several students scored 718 and 719 marks out of 720, which is not theoretically achievable as per NEET exam’s format.

Addressing these questions, the NTA’s Director General Subodh Kumar Singh clarified in the press conference that the exam was conducted with transparency and refuted all claims of paper leaks, stressing that the integrity of the medical examination was not compromised anywhere in the country.

Stressing that there were no paper leaks and that the examination body conducted a thorough analysis of the situation, Singh said: “We have analysed all things carefully and released the results. Out of 4750 centres, this problem was limited to 6 centres. And out of 24 lakh students, only 1600 students faced the issue. The integrity of this examination was not compromised throughout the country…There was no paper leak…The whole exam process has been very transparent…”

NTA Explains How Students Scored 718 & 719 Marks Out Of 720

Explaining how the students scored 718 and 719 out of 720, the NTA DG said: “Our committee met and they perused all the details of the centres and the CCTVs.They found out that at some centres the time was lost and the students should be compensated for that.The committee thought they could address the grievances and compensate the students. So the marks of some students were increased. Due to that, the concerns of some students have surfaced because certain candidates got 718 and 719 marks and 6 candidates became toppers…”

Underlining how the issue was handled, Singh said: “We formed a committee and addressed the grievances of the 24 lakh candidates and the 1600 students who faced the issue due to wrong distribution of question papers. Since as per our instuction, students are given three hours 20 minutes for the exam. But in some centres students were unable to get enough time. These candidates went to the High Court and asked to be compensated for the time lost. In our response, we told the courts that a grievance redressal committee was formed and we were looking into the matter.”

“As per a Supreme Court judgement on time-loss in CLAT exam, the students were compensated accordingly. Thus, we thought this is the way to proceed and allotted marks to the candidates in NEET exam as a way to compensate them for the time that was lost. It is not due to the number of the questions but the scale formula, as a result of which marks can be 718 and 719. This problem happened only in six centres for 1600 candidates,” he added.

4-Member Panel To Review Grace Marks 

The education ministry has set up a four-member panel to review the grace marks awarded to around 1,600 candidates in the NEET-UG medical entrance exam, the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced during the press conference on Saturday.

The panel headed by a former UPSC chairman will submit its recommendations within a week and the results of these candidates might be revised, NTA Director General Subodh Kumar Singh said at a press conference here.

“The awarding of grace marks has not impacted the qualifying criteria of the exam and the review of results of the affected candidates will not impact the admission process,” he added.

ALSO READ| NEET Result: Maharashtra Govt Alleges Injustice To State Students In Results; Calls For Cancellation

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