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NEET UG 2024: Union Govt Cancels Scorecards Of 1,563 Students; NTA Under Fire For Awarding Grace Marks

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The Union government has made a groundbreaking decision to cancel the scorecards of 1,563 students who were awarded grace marks in the NEET UG 2024. These students will now be informed of their actual scores without the grace marks and will be given the option to appear for a re-test. 

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test has been embroiled in a massive controversy since the announcement of its 2024 UG results on 4 June. Allegations of question paper leaks, unfair marking schemes and a surge in exceptionally high scores due to the provision of “grace marks” to a selected few, have cast a long shadow on the integrity of the exam and raised serious concerns about the future of medical aspirants in the country. 


Source: Mint

Upon the announcement of results, the National Testing Agency (NTA) decided to give grace marks to 1,563 students after several representations were filed in High Courts in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat. Students claimed to have “lost out on time” due to disturbances at the centres, including a case of wrong question papers being distributed. 

NTA Director General Subodh Kumar Singh revealed on June 8 that the Education Ministry has established a panel to re-examine the results of the students who were awarded grace marks in the NEET UG 2024. The panel is tasked with reviewing the results and submitting a report within ten days.

Grace Marks and Skewed Results

The controversy stems from the awarding of grace marks to around 1,563 students who claimed to have experienced a loss of time during the exam due to various issues at their respective centres. This included cases of wrong question papers being distributed. The NTA defended the awarding of grace marks, citing a formula devised by a committee and approved by the Supreme Court in 2018. According to an official press release by the NTA on 6 June, a Grievance Redressal Committee was constituted to look into the students’ grievances/representations and to submit its recommendations.


Source: The Indian Express

“The Committee considered the grievances/representations based on factual reports of the functionaries and CCTV footages from concerned exam Centres. The loss of examination time was ascertained and such candidates were compensated with marks based on their answering efficiency and time lost, as per the mechanism/ formula established by the Hon’ble Apex Court, vide its judgement dated 13.06.2018 in W.P. 551 of 2018. 1563 candidates were compensated for the loss of time and the revised marks of such candidates vary from -20 to 720 marks. Amongst these, the score of two candidates happens to be 718 and 719 marks respectively due to compensatory marks. On the analysis of the CCTV footage, it was ascertained that the integrity of the examination was not compromised at these Centres” the release said. However, aspirants have alleged that hundreds of marks were awarded as grace marks, a claim dismissed by the NTA.

Director General Subodh Kumar Singh maintained that the awarding of grace marks did not impact the qualifying criteria of the exam and that the review of the results of the affected candidates would not affect the admission process.

Question Paper leaked?

Reports also emerged alleging that the NEET UG question paper had been leaked at some exam centres before the test commenced on May 5. Instances of question paper leaks were reported, with police registering cases and arrests being made in connection with the leaks. Activists have argued that the results should not have been declared, citing the lack of a level playing field due to these complaints. The NTA, however, maintained that all claims of alleged paper leaks were baseless.

Inaccuracy in the Answer Key

Aspirants claimed that the answer key was incorrect for a question in the Physics section, leading to challenges by around 13,000 students. The dispute arose from the presence of two correct answers for the question, resulting in students either attempting the question and being awarded grace marks or skipping it and losing four marks. According to a report in the Times of India, 44 students scored 720/720 because of this particular question. 


Several aspirants have moved to multiple courts in India regarding the alleged irregularities in the NEET UG 2024 examination. Congress party president Mallikarjun Kharge, along with other leaders like Jairam Ramesh and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, demanded a high-level investigation into the matter, alleging that the government was directly responsible for the controversies. The leaders stressed the need for a fair and transparent investigation to restore the faith of students in the examination process.

In a brief conversation with NewsHamster, Dr. CS Rex Sargunam, former director of the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, throws light on the opaque nature of the results. He says that the centralised nature of NEET has not only caused administrative and logistical challenges but has also allowed certain parties to monopolize it. He questions the sheer coincidence of several top scorers being from the same centre. 

Parents across the nation have lodged complaints with district higher officials, seeking intervention from the Centre into the alleged scam. They raised doubts about the timing of the results and the awarding of grace marks, terming it a major nationwide scam. Concerns were raised about the unprecedented number of students scoring a perfect 720 out of 720 and other discrepancies visible in the results. 

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