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NEET-UG row: NTA's accountability will be fixed if lapses found, assures Dharmendra Pradhan

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that the decision to give grace marks to 1,563 NEET-UG 2024 candidates for admission to MBBS, BDS and other courses has been cancelled and they will be given an option to take a re-test on June 23.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: June 14, 2024 18:18 IST
Image Source : PTI Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Amid the ongoing row over the NEET-UG examination, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan assured that no malpractice will be tolerated and accountability in the National Testing Agency will be fixed if lapses are found. “The government is committed to protecting the interests of NEET examinees. I want to assure that the government will not tolerate any irregularities and malpractice in the conduct of the medical examination. Anyone found guilty of involvement in such practices will be strictly punished. The ministry will also fix the accountability of the NTA. In case any lapses are found at the agency’s level, action will be taken. All concerns of students will be addressed with fairness and equity," he told the media. 

This comes a day after he rejected allegations of a paper leak in the medical entrance exam, saying there is no evidence of it. "There is no evidence of a paper leak in NEET-UG. The allegations of corruption in NTA are unfounded, it is a very credible body," Pradhan had told reporters on Thursday.

Pradhan meets with students and the parents

Earlier today (June 14), the minister also held a meeting with several students who had recently appeared for the NEET exam, along with their parents. This meeting was arranged in response to a request made by the concerned students and their parents. During the discussion, the minister listened to their worries and provided assurances that all efforts would be made to ensure fairness and justice for the students.

SC issues notice to Centre, National Testing Agency

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the NTA and Centre on a batch of petitions raising concerns about paper leaks and seeking a CBI investigation into the alleged instances of paper leaks in the conduct of the NEET-UG 2024 exam on May 5 this year. A vacation bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta sought a response from the NTA within two weeks and tagged the cases with earlier petitions raising similar issues, which were listed on July 8.

The apex court also issued notice on a transfer petition filed by the NTA seeking to transfer to the top court a petition filed in a High Court alleging paper leaks and irregularities in the conduct of NEET-UG, 2024. It tagged the NTA's transfer petition along with other petitions pending before it. The NTA had said that a committee has been constituted to review the results of over 1,563 candidates who were awarded "grace marks" to compensate for the loss of time suffered while appearing for NEET-UG. "The exam will be conducted on June 23 and the results will be declared before June 30," it added. The apex court had already refused to stay the counselling of NEET-UG, 2024.

Controversy surrounds NEET-UG 2024 exam conduct

Aspirants, who appeared in NEET-UG 2024, have brought forth concerns regarding alleged question paper leaks, discrepancies in awarding compensatory marks, and anomalies in certain exam questions. These issues have prompted several petitions to be filed in the apex court, requesting the recall of NEET-UG 2024 results and the conduct of a fresh examination. Petitioners claim that malpractices occurred during the exam held on May 5, including alleged paper leakage. NEET-UG, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), serves as the gateway for admission to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and other relevant programmes in both public and private educational institutions across the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ: NEET UG 2024 row: SC to hear pleas seeking CBI probe, transfer of cases from High Court on July 8



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