NEET-UG 2024 results sparked a row of controversies nationwide

NEET-UG exams
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What happened on June 04? 

It was an important day for every Indian as it was the result day of the Lok Sabha Elections. This took the whole spotlight so nobody noticed that the National Testing Agency (NTA) released the results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, Undergraduate (NEET-UG) on the same day. This created a lot of controversies as the NEET-UG exam is a critical pathway to secure admission in medical, dental, and AYUSH courses at government and private institutions.

Around 2.4 million candidates took part in the NEET UG test which was held on May 5 across 571 cities, including 14 centres outside India. The exam sought to fill the 1,08,940 available MBBS seats distributed between 700 medical institutions nationwide. The revelation of the results drew immediate attention due to an unexpected occurrence as 67 candidates achieved a perfect score of 720 out of 720, securing the perfect rank AIR 1. Divergence developed concerning individuals who obtained marks of 718 or 719, with disbelief in securing such scores within the exam’s framework.

The Controversies

8 AIR-1 students from the same centre

It was found that eight of these candidates who scored the All India Rank 1 are from the same examination centre in Haryana, with their sequence numbers being the same. Parents of some of the protesting kids filed a complaint with Additional Deputy Commissioner Jind, asking for a probe into the alleged exceptions that took place in the NEET examination.

The NCERT book controversy

The announcement of 67 examinees securing the top spot in the exam raised so many questions. The top scorers reportedly answered a basic physics question unaccurately, receiving extra marks occurred an error in an older version of the NCERT Class 12 textbook. 13,000 candidates disputed the key’s accuracy and cited conflicting information in the textbooks. The NTA decided not to penalise these students, reinforcing the importance of relying solely on NCERT textbooks for NEET preparation. The NTA disclosed that due to a surge in candidates compared to the previous year, the 2024 NEET exam witnessed an increase in high scores. The agency defended the perceived ease of this year’s exam compared to previous years.

The 718 and 719 confusion

Instances of candidates scoring 718 and 719 were justified by the NTA as compensatory marks awarded to individuals who faced time restrictions during the exam at certain centres. Complaints regarding insufficient time allocation were addressed by a committee of experts, determining the compensation based on the candidates’ answering efficiency and time loss.

A paper leak?

Allegations of a leaked question paper in Patna were strongly declined by the NTA. While investigating the matter, arrests related to impersonation were made, emphasizing the agency’s cooperation with the authorities. The NTA has persistently responded to rumours of NEET UG 2024 question paper leaks amid these disputes. The organisation has disregarded unfounded rumours spreading on social media concerning tampered exam papers. The NTA claims that these reports are untrue and that the examination procedure was safe and impartial.

Early exam results, arisen cutoff

The NTA justified the early release of results by emphasising their commitment to swiftly processing outcomes post-answer key challenges, noting the quick turnaround for other examinations. With increasing cutoff scores attributed to the large amount of participants achieving high levels this year also focuses on the competitive nature of the examination. The growth in registrations with a record of 23.81 lakh students opting for NEET UG, granted the high cutoff marks noticed in 2024.

Filed Petitions and pleas

Legal obstacles have increased, with two petitions filed in High Courts contesting the validity and accuracy of the results. A plea was lodged in the Supreme Court on June 1, urging a reevaluation of the examination, citing suspicions of a leaked question paper. This comes after the Supreme Court had previously refused to halt the publication of the results while considering a similar plea last month.

The Delhi High Court requested the National Testing Agency’s (NTA) plea filed by a NEET-UG applicant who complained about a question with two right answers in the answer key. A vacation bench led by Justice D K Sharma urged the NTA’s counsel to seek directions on the plea and also appealed that those who did not attempt the question be granted the same marks as those who attempted one of the two correct answers. The collective outcry against the NEET exam results signals a growing concern over the fairness and integrity of the medical entrance system in India.

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