Even if there is 0.001% negligence, it should be dealt with thoroughly: SC raps NTA, Centre over NEET Exam irregularities

Amid worries over the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical institutions, the Supreme Court today slammed the National Testing Agency (NTA), which administers the statewide exam for medical college applicants.

“If there’s even 0.001% negligence on anyone’s part, it should be thoroughly dealt with,” the Supreme Court stated. The Supreme Court, in hearing a batch of petitions over alleged anomalies in the exam, stated that it expected “timely action” from the NTA and that the organisation must guarantee that all applicants are treated equitably.

“As the agency in charge of the exam, you must be fair. If there is an error, say yes, it is a mistake, and here is the course of action we will pursue. At the very least, that gives you confidence in your performance,” said a bench of Justices Vikram Nath and SVN Bhatti to the NTA. The Supreme Court emphasised the importance of students’ preparation for one of the country’s most difficult admission tests, stating that if someone who has cheated the system becomes a doctor, they are even more detrimental to society. It emphasised that children must study hard in order to pass NEET. “The next hearing in the case will be held on July 8.”

Last week, the NTA informed the Supreme Court that the grace marks awarded to 1,563 applicants in the NEET-UG test will be revoked, and the participants will be given the option of retaking the exam on June 23. The findings of the re-test will be announced by June 30, the Supreme Court was told.

If any of these applicants elected not to take the re-test, their previous score would be returned, minus the additional marks.
The results for the medical entrance test, which was taken by 24 lakh candidates on May 5, were released on June 4. Allegations of a test paper leak quickly emerged. As many as 67 students received flawless scores of 720/720.

Several students were offered grace marks, reportedly to compensate for lost time at the exam centre. Many student associations have complained of claimed NEET irregularities, including the release of incorrect question papers, ripped Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets, and delays in sheet delivery.

Written By: Abhishek Singh

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