Former UPSC chairman-led panel to review NEET UG results of more than 1.5k candidates amid calls for fresh exam: Here’s what we know so far| IIT EXPERT



NEW DELHI: The National Testing Agency (NTA) announced the NEET UG 2024 results on June 5, revealing an unprecedented scenario where 67 candidates scored a perfect 720, making them joint toppers. This year saw a significant increase in competition, with 13.16 lakh candidates qualifying compared to 11.44 lakh in 2023. However, the announcement was quickly followed by allegations of irregularities, sparking a major controversy.
Why the Call for a NEET UG Re-exam?
Following the results announcement, numerous issues were raised by aspirants, including exam irregularities, leading to demands for a re-exam. Social media platforms, especially X (formerly twitter), were inundated with hashtags such as “#NEET”, “#NEETfraud”, “#NEET_paper_leak”, “#neetscam2024”, and “#NEET_reconduct,” with the public calling for an investigation into the NEET 2024 exam. Many complaints were filed against the NTA, questioning the timing and process of result declaration.

Several candidates took their complaints to various High Courts, including those in Delhi and Haryana. The issue quickly became a political hot topic, with leaders such as Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi demanding a thorough investigation into the alleged irregularities. The Samajwadi Party (SP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Congress also called for a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry into the matter.

Reported irregularities

The announcement of the NEET-UG 2024 results left many students and parents in shock. They were surprised by the perfect scores achieved by 67 students and raised concerns about the NTA’s statement. Notably, six students scoring full marks had consecutive seat numbers and were from the same center in Haryana, suggesting possible irregularities.
Furthermore, scorecards of students scoring 718 and 719 marks circulated on social media, raising doubts. Parents claimed these scores were impossible given the exam’s marking scheme, where each question carries four marks and negative marking is applied.
NTA’s clarification
The NTA addressed these concerns in a statement, explaining that some candidates faced a loss of time during the exam on May 5. The NTA used a normalization formula, as per a Supreme Court judgment from 2018, to compensate these candidates with grace marks. This resulted in some candidates scoring 718 or 719 marks.
Regarding the six students from the same exam center scoring full marks, the NTA explained that an incorrect distribution of papers caused a loss of 45 minutes, which was compensated as per the established formula.
NTA’s tie-breaking rule for All India Ranks
In cases where two or more candidates obtain equal marks or percentile scores, the NTA follows a specific order to determine ranking:

  • Higher marks/percentile score in biology (botany & zoology)
  • Higher marks/percentile score in chemistry
  • Higher marks/percentile score in physics
  • Fewer incorrect answers overall
  • Fewer incorrect answers in biology
  • Fewer incorrect answers in chemistry
  • Fewer incorrect answers in physics
  • Application number in ascending order

Basis for grace marks
A grievance redressal committee, including experts from examination and academia, reviewed complaints about the loss of exam time. They assessed the grievances based on factual reports and CCTV footage from the exam centers. Candidates affected by the loss of time were compensated with marks based on their answering efficiency and the time lost, using a formula established by the Supreme Court in a 2018 judgment.

1,563 candidates received compensatory marks, resulting in scores ranging from -20 to 720 marks. This included two candidates who scored 718 and 719 marks due to these adjustments. Several candidates also filed writ petitions in various high courts regarding the loss of exam time.
Ministry of Education’s response
In response to the controversy, the Ministry of Education constituted a four-member panel led by a former Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) chairman to review the grace marks awarded to over 1,563 candidates. This panel, announced by the NTA on Saturday, aims to address allegations of inflated marks leading to 67 candidates sharing the first rank, including six from the same center in Haryana.

Subodh Kumar Singh, Director General of the NTA, stated that the review would not affect the qualifying criteria or the admission process. The panel is expected to submit its recommendations within a week, potentially leading to a revision of the results for the affected candidates.





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