NEET Exam Results Controversy: Aspirants Call for Re-NEET As It 'Puts Their Future At Risk'

The results were declared in the midst of Lok Sabha election results with the Nationa Testing Agency (NTA) releasing them on 4th June, which was before the designated time of result declaration. The NEET-UG exam is a crucial evaluation for gaining admission to medical, dental, and AYUSH courses at government and private institutions throughout India.

The NEET exam (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) is a single-level national examination carried out for students aspiring to enroll in medical courses in various medical institutes across the nation. It is an eagerly anticipated exam that students prepare for intensively, often preparing for many years in advance.

The results were declared in the midst of Lok Sabha election results with the Nationa Testing Agency (NTA) releasing them on 4th June, which was before the designated time of result declaration. The NEET-UG exam is a crucial evaluation for gaining admission to medical, dental, and AYUSH courses at government and private institutions throughout India.

The examination results stirred controversy when it was revealed that an unprecedented 67 candidates achieved a perfect score of 720 out of 720, securing the coveted top spot, AIR 1. Amidst this revelation, whispers emerged regarding candidates who scored 718 or 719, prompting skeptics to question the plausibility of such marks within the exam’s framework.

Although petitions to look into the issues have been filled there has been an unprecedented amount of distress and concern that has been spiked amongst the students. Let’s take a look at what the aspirants had to say about the events that transpired.

Aspirants Voice Their Concerns 

Aspirants from all over India appear for the NEET examination to secure a rank and get enrolled in the top medical institutions in India, and NewsX was able to capture the grievances of students in order to address the issues that had erupted post the results. 

Speaking to an aspirant from Noida, he voiced his concern over the current scenario and said, “This time, I scored 661 in the examinations, but unfortunately, my ranking has plummeted to 20,157. I was hopeful of securing admission to good colleges in Bihar, but now I’m uncertain whether I’ll be able to get into a reputable institution. The situation looks bleak and we’re filled with doubt about our prospects of securing a spot in a decent college.”

Speaking on the number of toppers that secured 1st rank this time the aspirant further iterated, ” We are aware of the level of the examination and that some students work really hard, and they have access to very good institutions that pay special attention to these students and recognize their efforts, which has resulted in at least two or three students securing the top rank in previous years and twelve-thirteen aspirants at a time in some cases. However, this time the situation is quite surprising, as 67 aspirants have attained the rank of 1.”

Speaking to an aspirant from Lucknow, Dakshita Mishra, who had taken a gap year for the second time, voiced her concerns and said, “I had put in intense preparation this time, and I was quite hopeful that I would succeed, but given the current scenario, my rank ended up elsewhere altogether, and things turned out completely different from my expectations. The cutoff soared very high, and despite scoring good marks, there are no expectations of securing admission.”

She further iterated, ” The scenario is such that students may be apprehensive about choosing PCB as their stream in the future,  as after scoring between 650-660 in the exams, there are good colleges available where one can seek admission, as was the case until last year as well but not this time.”

Speaking to students in Jaipur, one of them opened up and said, ” When there are allegations of fraud, it puts the future of the aspirants at risk. This fraud has occurred on a massive scale, considering that AIIMS has been ranked among the top 100 institutions globally, and the President the Prime Minister, and other top leaders of the country have sought treatment there. If there is fraud in the selection process of doctors at such a prestigious institution, it is a matter of major concern because then what will happen to the middle-class people of India who go there for treatment.”

The aspirants also reiterated their demand for a re-NEET, which calls for the examinations to be conducted again, as students are not able to secure good colleges even after scoring 650 and above marks in the examination. 

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Petitions Filed 

In response to these concerns, legal challenges have emerged, with two petitions submitted in various High Courts challenging the legitimacy of the results. Particularly, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court on June 1, requesting a reassessment of the examination due to suspicions of a leaked question paper.

This follows the Supreme Court’s earlier decision to decline a request to stop the publication of the results while reviewing a similar plea last month.

The NCERT Controversy 

The revelation that 67 candidates achieved the top rank in the NEET exam raised eyebrows, especially since 44 of them reportedly received extra marks due to errors in the NCERT Class 12 textbook.

Challenges against the provisional answer key released on May 29 led to over 13,000 candidates disputing its accuracy, citing discrepancies in the textbooks. Despite this, the NTA chose not to penalize these students, stressing the importance of relying solely on NCERT textbooks for NEET preparation.

The Confusion Surrounding 718-719 Marks Scored

Additionally, the NTA explained that the increase in high scores in the 2024 NEET exam was due to a surge in candidates compared to the previous year. They defended the perceived ease of this year’s exam compared to previous ones.

Regarding instances where candidates scored 718 and 719, the NTA clarified that these were compensatory marks awarded to those who faced time constraints during the exam at specific centers. Grievances about insufficient time were addressed by a committee of experts, who determined compensation based on candidates’ answering efficiency and time loss.

NTA DG Speaks To The Public

On the NEET issue, NTA DG Subodh Kumar Singh says, “Our committee met and they perused all the details of the centers and the CCTVs… They found out that at some centres the time was lost and the students should be compensated for that… The committee thought they could address the grievances and compensate the students. So the marks of some students were increased. Due to that, the concerns of some students have surfaced because certain candidates got 718 and 719 marks and 6 candidates became toppers… We have analyzed all things carefully and released the results. Out of 4750 centers, this problem was limited to 6 centers. And out of 24 lakh students, only 1600 students faced the issue. The integrity of this examination was not compromised throughout the country… There was no paper leak… The whole exam process has been very transparent…”

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