‘Grace marks given to 1,563 students to be reviewed’: NTA on NEET exam row | India News

Exam illustration (Photo/Unsplash)

Many NEET-UG aspirants and the Opposition alleged irregularities in the examination result. (Photo/Unsplash)

A four-member panel set up by the education ministry will re-examine the grace marks awarded to more than 1,500 candidates in the NEET-UG medical entrance exam, the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced on Saturday.

The integrity of this year’s National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) examination was not compromised, the NTA said in response to the allegations of irregularities in the results declared on June 4.

“The issue pertains to only about 1,600 candidates at six centres,” Subodh Kumar Singh, the director general of the NTA, said in a press conference on Saturday.

As many as 1,563 students were awarded grace marks due to “loss of exam time”.

“The awarding of grace marks has not impacted the qualifying criteria of the exam and the review of results of the affected candidates will not impact the admission process,” he said, noting that the committee will submit the recommendations within a week and the results of these students might be revised.


Many NEET-UG aspirants and the Opposition alleged irregularities in the examination result, in which an unprecedented 67 students scored a perfect 720 out of 720 marks. The result also raised eyebrows after it was observed that six of these candidates were from the same exam centre in Haryana.


NTA cites SC judgement over grace marking


“Some students alleged that they got less time to take the exam because of the centre superintendent…,” Singh said, adding that the decision to award grace marks was based on a Supreme Court judgement of 2018.


“There was a Supreme Court judgement in 2018… if there is a type of grievance about time loss (during exams), there is a formula and on that basis, compensation can be given. The committee thought that this way the grievance can be addressed… so, everyone’s marks have been increased.”


On the allegation that scoring 718 and 719 marks is not possible, Singh noted that it was possible not because of the negative marking system of +4-1, but because of the scale formula, the score can be 718 and 719, he added.


What are the allegations against the NEET-UG 2024 exam?


The issue of scoring 718 and 719 marks was raised by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Junior Doctors Network, which demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the matter and sought re-examination.


“Some students have scored 718 and 719 marks, which is statistically questionable,” they said in a letter addressed to Pradeep Kumar Joshi, the chairperson of the NTA. The letter stated that no defined logic was given for the grace marks awarded to these students.

 


“NEET 2024 paper was leaked in many locations but why has no action been taken yet? The provision for the grace marks due to time wastage should have been disclosed in the information bulletin before the exam. Why did the National Testing Agency come up with the new rule after the examination?” the letter stated.


Many students received different marks on their scorecards compared to their OMR sheets. These discrepancies were not due to grace marks, as these students were not from the centres where grace marks were purportedly given, the letter read.


Dr Indranil Deshmukh, the national convener IMA Junior Doctors Network, claimed that it was impossible for the students to score 718-719 marks due to the negative marking system.

State governments, including Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, have also questioned the marking process and demanded re-examination.

NEET exam was conducted on May 5 at 4,750 centres across 571 cities. Over 20.38 lakh students registered for the exam, with 11.45 lakh candidates qualifying. More than 80,000 MBBS seats are available in over 540 medical colleges in the country.

First Published: Jun 08 2024 | 4:21 PM IST




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