NEET UG 2024 row: ‘If there is 0.001% negligence…’, Supreme Court tells NTA on ‘grace mark’ issue

The Supreme Court issued a notice to the National Testing Agency on pleas regarding NEET-UG paper leaks and malpractices. The court called for thorough action to deal with any negligence.

Livemint
Updated18 Jun 2024, 12:44 PM IST
NSUI activists participate in a 'Mashal Rally' to protest against the alleged irregularities in the NEET UG entrance exam results.
NSUI activists participate in a ’Mashal Rally’ to protest against the alleged irregularities in the NEET UG entrance exam results.(Sanjay Sharma)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the National Testing Agency (NTA), seeking a response to the pleas in connection with the alleged paper leaks and malpractices in NEET-UG 2024. The top court said even a little negligence in NEET-UG 2024 should be thoroughly dealt with. “If there is 0.001% negligence on the part of anyone, it should be thoroughly dealt with. Children have prepared for the exams. We cannot forget their labour,” the Supreme Court said.

"As an agency which is conducting the examination, you must act fair. If there is a mistake, say yes, this is a mistake, and this is the action we are going to take. At least that inspires confidence in your performance," the apex court told NTA, adding, “We expect timely action from you.”

The NEET-UG examination, which is the gateway for admission to undergraduate-level medical courses in India, was conducted on May 5 at 4,750 centres across 571 cities in India. The results were declared on June 4.

After the results were declared, parents and teachers raised concerns about the grace marks awarded to 1,563 students. The NTA's results showed 67 candidates had achieved the maximum possible score of 720 out of 720.

"The aforesaid material irregularities are required to be investigated thoroughly by CBI or by any other independent agency or committee under the supervision of this court so as to do justice to the large number of meritorious students whose claims have been defeated by systemic failure to ensure conduct of fair examination," the plea filed by 20 students stated.

Following the row, the Centre and the NTA told the Supreme Court last week that they had cancelled the grace marks awarded to 1,563 candidates who were allotted less time than the prescribed duration. The Centre also said that the students will have the option to either reappear in the examination or forgo the compensatory marks.

Meanwhile, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has assured that strict action will be taken against anyone found involved in the irregularities, while assuring that no child's career will be in jeopardy.

“I want to assure the students that all their concerns will be addressed with fairness and equity. No student will be at a disadvantage and no child’s career will be at jeopardy (sic),” Dharmendra Pradhan said in a post on X, adding, “Central government will take all necessary actions for the well-being of students as per the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday protested against the Centre at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi over alleged irregularities in the NEET exam. Speaking with ANI, AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “It is a matter of the future of 24 lakh students. The government should take action and conduct an investigation. I think the members of Parliament should discuss this issue.”

(With agency inputs)

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First Published:18 Jun 2024, 12:44 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaNEET UG 2024 row: ‘If there is 0.001% negligence…’, Supreme Court tells NTA on ‘grace mark’ issue

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