Is NEET 2024 a scam?

A petition says the NTA did not disclose the reason for awarding grace marks while all examinees from a coaching centre scored 100% marks; this is over and above the allegation of paper leaks

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Surajit Dasgupta
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NEET scam

Is NEET 2024 a scam?

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The Supreme Court has rebuked the Centre and the National Testing Agency (or NTA) for the leakage of test papers and grant of marks that look improbable if not impossible. Like all students of a certain coaching centre getting 720 out of 720!

Before we get further into what the Supreme Court said, let’s understand the problem. To begin with, the problem is not merely of papers leaking.

NEET 2024 looks like a scam

Nearly 2.4 million students took the test at 4,750 centres spread across 571 cities.

1.    The petition was filed on 1 June, much before the NEET-UG results were announced on 4 June.

2.    10 petitioners from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh say there is “no defined logic” that the NTA has used to assign marks.

3.    The petition complained that the authority did not disclose the reason for awarding grace marks beforehand. As many as 1,563 candidates spread across exam centres in Meghalaya, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Surat and Chandigarh passed by grace marks.

4.    Grace marks were given after examinees at these centres complained that they did not get the complete 3 hours and 20 minutes stipulated for the exam.

5.    67 students from one particular coaching centre scored 100%. The student ranked 68th got 719 out of 720 and the one ranked 69th got 718 out of 720. These nearly full marks are odd too.

6.    As many as 13,000 students complained that the NTA had released a provisional answer key, in which the answer was wrong.

7.    They say that examinees in several exam centres cheated in the medical test paper but were not caught.

Meanwhile, the NTA has instituted a high-powered committee to analyse the grievances of 1,600 students who have already appeared for the NEET 2024 exam. And Bihar Police is investigating the charges of paper leaks and cheating.

Now, we come to what the Supreme Court said. Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah have not directed an end to counselling by the NTA. But the highest court did take the Centre to task. It said the “sanctity of the examination” had been affected. “We need answers for that.”

As the NEET case is pending before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, the vacation bench has directed NTA to file its response and said that the present petition be taken up with the other case.

The next date of hearing is 8 July.

Meanwhile, the Indian National Congress, especially its Maharashtra unit, has turned the issue of NEET paper leak, cheating and awkwardly high scores political. They are accusing the ruling party, the BJP, of officiating over corruption by the NTA.

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