Paper leaks, grace marks row: NEET-UG 2024 controversy explained | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that the decision to award grace marks to 1,563 candidates of NEET-UG 2024 by the National Testing Agency (NTA) has been cancelled.
These 1563 students will also be given an option to take a re-test.
The top court was hearing petitions related to the controversy surrounding the NEET-UG, 2024 examination for admission to MBBS, BDS, and other courses.
One of the petitions was filed by Alakh Pandey, the chief executive of EdTech firm ‘Physics Wallah’, who has challenged the alleged random awarding of grace marks by the National Testing Agency (NTA) to more than 1,500 candidates who appeared for the NEET-UG, 2024.
Several petitions have been submitted to high courts and the Supreme Court, raising various allegations, including paper leaks, grace marks, and a significant increase in high scorers.
Here’s what the NEET-UG controversy is all about:

  • The NEET (UG) 2024 examination was conducted by the NTA on May 5 across 4,750 centers, with approximately 24 lakh candidates participating. Although the results were initially expected to be announced on June 14, they were released on June 4, possibly due to the early completion of the answer sheet evaluation.
  • The plea stated that the NTA’s decision to award grace marks was a reaction and not a proactive measure taken at the time of declaring the results.
  • “So much so this clarification came about only when queries were raised as to how 718/719 marks out of total 720 marks can be awarded when the same was not technically possible as per the marking scheme,” the plea said. The plea has called for a comprehensive investigation into the conduct of the examination by an independent high-powered committee.
  • The plea questioned the basis for adopting the policy of awarding grace marks, as it was not a practice followed by the NTA in previous years. It demanded that the NTA provide details of the 1,563 candidates who received compensatory marks, including their original marks, the grace marks granted, and their revised marks.
  • On June 10, scores of students staged protests in Delhi, demanding an investigation into the alleged irregularities. It has been claimed that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.
  • On Wednesday, the NTA released a document with frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the exam, reiterating that there was no question of paper leaks. NTA officials stated that 63 cases of students using unfair means were reported in NEET-UG, out of which 23 have been debarred for varying periods. However, they emphasized that the sanctity of the medical entrance exam has not been compromised.
  • Last week, the Education Ministry formed a four-member panel to review the grace marks awarded to 1,563 students to compensate for the loss of time due to delays in starting the examination at certain centers.
  • According to NTA officials, the adjustments were made to address inconsistencies in NCERT textbooks, which resulted in 44 candidates receiving full marks and many others seeing an increase in their scores, contributing to the high number of perfect scores. Despite the exam results becoming a political issue, NTA sources maintain that the majority of the claims are an attempt to create a false narrative surrounding the exam.



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