Supreme Court Seeks Response from NTA Over NEET-UG Result Irregularities

Mainstream
12-Jun-2024
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On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the National Testing Agency (NTA), demanding a response regarding alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG results. A bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah expressed concern, stating, “The sanctity has been affected, so we need answers." Despite the ongoing case, the bench clarified that counseling for admissions would not be halted, and scheduled the next hearing for July 8, alongside a similar plea.

The plea against the NTA centers around allegations of malpractice during the May 5 exam, including multiple paper leaks. It argues that these leaks violated Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to equality, by unfairly advantaging some candidates over others who attempted the examination honestly.

Compounding the issue, irregularities were reported in the results announced on June 4. Notably, 67 candidates shared the top rank, including six from the same center in Haryana. There are also allegations regarding the allocation of grace marks to certain candidates, raising further questions about the integrity of the results.

Opposition parties, including the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress, have flagged these irregularities. The AAP has called for a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe, while Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and KC Venugopal have alleged paper leaks and corruption.

Priyanka Gandhi took to Twitter, stating, "Lakhs of children prepare hard for exams like NEET and spend the most precious moments of their lives preparing for it. The whole family puts their faith and strength in this effort. But year after year, paper leaks and irregularities related to results have been reported in these exams." The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS, has also demanded a CBI inquiry into the allegations surrounding NEET-UG.

In response to these allegations, the NTA has established a four-member committee to review the results of 1,563 candidates. These candidates are from Meghalaya, Bahadurgarh in Haryana, Dantewada and Balod in Chhattisgarh, Surat in Gujarat, and Chandigarh. The committee, headed by a former UPSC chairman, is expected to submit its recommendations within a week, potentially leading to revised results for these candidates.

Subodh Kumar Singh, Director General of the NTA, stated, “A high-powered committee has been set up to review the results of over 1,563 candidates. The four-member panel headed by a former UPSC chairman will submit its recommendations within a week and the results of these candidates might be revised.” However, the NTA has denied all allegations of irregularities, attributing the high marks to changes in NCERT textbooks and the awarding of grace marks.

The NEET-UG exam, which facilitates admissions to MBBS, BDS, and AYUSH courses in government and private institutions across India, saw 24 lakh candidates register, with 97% attempting the exam. As the Supreme Court scrutinizes these allegations, the future of many aspiring medical students hangs in the balance.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer