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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

NEET row: Aspirants move Supreme Court seeking recall of results, SIT probe

There has been a massive outrage among the aspirants following the unilateral decision of the NTA, the Central government agency which conducts the examination, to award grace marks to certain students on the grounds of wastage of time because of technical glitches at certain centres

R. Balaji New Delhi Published 11.06.24, 06:09 AM
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Two NEET aspirants have moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on counselling for the UG medical courses, a recall of the results and an SIT probe into allegations of paper leak and the resultant award of grace marks to several students amid the row that 67 students scored 720/720 marks out of which eight students were from the same centre.

Around 22 lakh students appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate medical courses on May 5. The National Testing Agency (NTA) conducted the test across 4,750 centres in 571 cities in India, including 14 abroad.

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However, there has been a massive outrage among the aspirants following the unilateral decision of the NTA, the Central government agency which conducts the examination, to award grace marks to certain students on the grounds of wastage of time because of technical glitches at certain centres.

The petition, filed by joint petitioners Abdullah Mohammed Faiz from Telangana and Khadeer Basha from Andhra Pradesh through advocate Shwetank Sailakwal, stated: "That grace marks were granted on the ground of wastage of time. Some students have secured 718 and 719 marks which is practically not possible. That exercise conducted by the respondent (NTA) is without any rationale and the same is arbitrary and done with mala fide intention to grant entry to the students through backdoor. It has nowhere clarified on what basis the marks were awarded.

"Further 67 students scored 720 out of 720 marks out of which eight students were from the same centre which creates serious doubts regarding the examination conducted by the respondent,” it stated.

The petitioners further complained that the NTA surprisingly chose to declare the results on June 4, about 10 days before the results were supposed to be declared.

The award of the grace marks by the NTA is "nothing but a sham to accommodate students by a process which is unfair to other students,” the petition said.

This year’s NEET-UG 24 exams were mired in controversy from the beginning as several candidates reported technical hurdles such as computer malfunctions and internet connectivity problems, which disrupted their exam experience.

The issues created an uneven playing field, impacting the performance of many students. Some centres were reported to be overcrowded and poorly managed, with inadequate seating arrangements and ventilation. Such conditions contributed to a stressful environment, adversely affecting students' performance, the petitioners said.

The petitioners, while seeking transfer of petitions filed by other aggrieved candidates before the Delhi and Calcutta High Court on the same issue, have sought their transfer to the Supreme Court for an authoritative pronouncement and to avoid multiplicity of the proceedings. The petitioners have also urged the court to form an SIT for a thorough probe of the malpractices and alleged fraud involved in the NEET 2024.

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