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Grace marks scrapped for NEET-UG aspirants

Updated on: 14 June,2024 07:25 AM IST  |  Mumbai
A Correspondent |

Candidates can opt for a re-test scheduled for June 23 or accept scores without grace marks

Grace marks scrapped for NEET-UG aspirants

Congress’s youth wing protests alleged irregularities in the exam. Pic/X

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Grace marks scrapped for NEET-UG aspirants

The Ministry of Education constituted a four-member panel headed by a former Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) chairperson to review allegations in the National Eligibility Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024. The panel recommended rescinding the grace marks awarded to 1,563 candidates. These candidates will have the opportunity to opt for a re-test scheduled for June 23 or accept their scores without grace marks.

Following the committee’s recommendations, the Union Ministry of Education informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that the decision to award grace marks to 1,563 NEET-UG 2024 candidates for admission to MBBS, BDS and other courses has been rescinded. However, the apex court declined to halt the admissions counselling process.

According to the ministry, the re-test results will be declared on June 30, and counselling for admission to MBBS, BDS, and other courses will start on July 6. A total of 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA’s history, raising suspicions about irregularities. Since 2019, the NEET UG has not seen more than three toppers in any given year.

Meanwhile, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan rejected allegations of a NEET-UG paper leak. He termed the allegations as baseless while reiterating the government's commitment to safeguarding the interests of students. “There was no paper leak. No proof has been found yet. The allegations of corruption in NTA are unfounded. It is a very credible body,” said Pradhan, as he took charge of the education ministry for the second consecutive time on Thursday.

The NTA, which released a notification announcing the scrapping of grace marks stated that at least 63 cases of unfair means including cheating and impersonation, were found during the NEET-UG for admission to undergraduate medical courses while denying the allegations of paper leak.

Confirming the development further, NTA officials said that the number of toppers has decreased from 67 to 61 after the scrapping of grace marks. “Six of the 67 candidates got grace marks on account of loss in time. Now, either they will accept their original marks (without grace marks) or they can take the retest on June 23,” said an NTA official.

Speaking to mid-day, the parent of a student who received grace marks expressed frustration: “Why all this back and forth now? A re-test should have been conducted immediately when students complained about the loss of time. Now, students have their results with grace marks. Taking those marks back is unfair. Action should be taken against NTA officials for playing with the lives of students.”

Meanwhile, parents questioned why the bonus marks issue was not reviewed. Many have criticised the NTA over the marking system and discrepancies in awarding marks, with allegations of irregularities in this year's ranking system.

According to the NTA, 17 students scored 720 out of 720 without any grace marks, six students were awarded grace marks for the loss of time, and 44 students received bonus marks for challenging a physics question. These 44 students initially scored 715 marks but received five bonus marks, elevating their scores to 720, securing rank 1. Meanwhile, reacting to the Centre’s decision to cancel grace marks, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress President Nana Patole said, “Cancelling only grace marks in NEET will not work; a CBI inquiry should be conducted.”

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