Allegations against NEET exam affect credibility of entrance exams in country: Kerala CM

NEET Row: Pinarayi Vijayan Vijayan said that neither centre nor NTA have been able to provide a satisfactory explanation and address students' concerns over irregularities


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NEET Row: Kerala CM comments on controversy. (Image: Official X account)NEET Row: Kerala CM comments on controversy. (Image: Official X account)

Press Trust of India | June 18, 2024 | 08:00 PM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said that the allegations of question paper leaks and the controversy about grace marks awarded in the NEET-UG exams for admissions to medical courses have affected the credibility of the entrance test system in the country. Vijayan said that neither the central government nor the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the NEET exam, have been able to provide a satisfactory explanation and address the students' concerns over the irregularities reported in the test. His remarks came in the wake of the Supreme Court on Tuesday saying that even if there was "0.001 per cent negligence" on the part of anyone in the conduct of the NEET-UG 2024 examination, it should be thoroughly dealt with.

The apex court was hearing two separate petitions raising grievances, including on grace marks given to students in the examination held on May 5. The top court had last week sought responses from the Centre and the NTA on a plea seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the allegations of question paper leak and other irregularities in the national-level entrance exam. The examination was held on May 5 across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates took it. The results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced, unusually 10 days in advance, on June 4, apparently because the evaluation of the answer sheets was completed earlier than expected.

There have been allegations of question paper leaks in states like Bihar and other irregularities in the exam conducted for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country. As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA's history, with six from the same centre in Haryana's Faridabad figuring in the list. This has raised suspicions. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank. However, the numbers don't add up when considering that each correct answer gets 4 marks and each wrong answer gets minus 1.

On Tuesday, Vijayan said that the Centre was not prepared to effectively intervene in the issue despite being aware of the reported irregularities. He said that it was the central government that abolished the earlier state-level medical entrance exams and introduced NEET at the national level. "This was done when the state governments were conducting the medical entrance exams flawlessly," he contended.

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