Pradhan bats for NTA, promises action on NEET row

New Delhi, June 13 (UNI) Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday accepted a Supreme Court verdict on the NEET UG 2024 exam results that requires cancellation of grace marks and reexamination, as he assured every action against those responsible for creating problems in the ultra-competitive examination.

Talking to reporters here, Pradhan, however, refuted allegations of any paper leak in the under-graduate medical entrance exam in which around 24 lakh students appeared on May 5, asserting that there is no substantive proof to corroborate such claims.

He said some issues have been brought to the notice of the government which it has taken seriously. Resuming charge of his ministry on the day when the apex court endorsed cancelling of grace-marks provided to 1,563 NEET aspirants, Pradhan said that they were awarded those marks to compensate for the time lost during the examination.

He said the Supreme Court’s standing order says that instead of re-examination, grace marks are given and the NTA after constituting an expert committee applied this rule. Later it was found that some students got 100% marks following which some people approached the court, he said.

Defending the NTA, the minister said that it is a competent authority that has been conducting three prestigious examinations NEET, JEE and CUET successfully where in more than 50 lakh students appear in these exams.

“Around 4,500 centres conducted the NEET-UG 2024 in 13 languages this time. When the exam was held, in 6 centres out of 4500 centres, the wrong question papers were sent mistakenly. The correct question paper was later provided but this took a little bit of time, hence the grace marks were given,” Pradhan told reporters.

The government in order to remove any such confusion will bring in more transparency and take strict action against all those responsible for creating problems.

Scores of students have been protesting in Delhi and several petitions have been filed in as many as seven high courts and also the Supreme Court since NEET-UG 2024 results were declared on June 4. Not only did 1,563 students get the much contested grace marks for time constraint, but also it led to 67 toppers all amassing 720 total marks in the May 5 conducted exam.

As entry to creme de la creme medical colleges will depend on ranks, students who scored on their merit and not grace marks are at loss as they allege grace marks have aided many to join the top rank this time.

The top medical institution All India Institute of Medical Sciences has 66 seats in undergraduate level.

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