NEET 2024 result controversy: IMA Junior Doctors Network calls for CBI inquiry, re-examination

Representational Image. Photo: iStock/lakshmiprasad S

New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) Junior Doctors Network has called for a CBI inquiry into alleged discrepancies and irregularities in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2024. They have also requested a re-examination from the National Testing Agency (NTA).

Several aspirants of the medical entrance exam NEET have alleged inflation of marks which led to a record 67 candidates bagging the top rank, including six from the same exam centre. The NTA, however, denied the allegations and said the changes made in the NCERT textbooks and grace marks for losing time at the examination centres are some of the reasons behind the students scoring higher marks.

The Junior Doctors Network, in their letter to NTA, pointed out that some students scored 718 and 719 marks, which they find “statistically questionable.” The JDN noted a lack of logic in the grace marks awarded to these students. Additionally, the network alleged that the NEET 2024 question paper was leaked in multiple locations and questioned why no action was taken.
They also reported that many students received different marks on their scorecards compared to their OMR sheets. “These discrepancies were not due to grace marks, as these students were not from the centres where grace marks were purportedly given,” the letter added.

When the results were announced, 67 candidates achieved a perfect score of 720/720, which the JDN found “highly questionable” as usually only three or four students achieve perfect marks. They also highlighted that six of these perfect scorers came from a single centre in Haryana.
The JDN also questioned the timing of the result announcement, “prematurely on a day when the media was occupied with broadcasting the general election results”, and noted an unprecedented increase in cutoff marks. “We demand a CBI inquiry to the irregularities in the NEET 2024... a re-examination to ensure a fair and transparent evaluation process for all students,” the network added.

Answer key: Delhi HC seeks NTA's stand on plea 
The Delhi High Court sought the National Testing Agency's (NTA) stand on Friday on a petition filed by an NEET-UG candidate raising a grievance regarding a question that had two correct answers in the answer key. A vacation bench of Justice D K Sharma asked the NTA's counsel to seek instructions on the petition, which has prayed that equal marks should be awarded to those who did not attempt the question as has been done for those who attempted either of the two correct answers.

The petition has said the principle of fairness in a competitive examination mandates that all candidates should be evaluated on an equal footing and alleged that the authorities compromised the fairness by awarding marks to two correct options when the instructions had clearly indicated that only one option was correct. The plea has further said the results declared by the authorities were arbitrary and based on unfair grace marks given to various candidates, without the application of mind.

Congress demands SC-monitored probe
The Congress on Friday demanded a high-level investigation under the Supreme Court's supervision into "irregularities" in NEET for medical courses and accused the BJP of cheating youngsters and playing with their futures. Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said paper leaks, rigging and corruption have become an integral part of many examinations, including the NEET.

"The Modi government is directly responsible for this. For the candidates appearing in recruitment exams, then facing several irregularities, getting caught in the labyrinth of paper leaks, is playing with their futures. The BJP has cheated the youth of the country," he said in a post in Hindi on X.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the Modi government over the issue and called for resolution of students' "legitimate complaints" through an investigation.

Trends from NEET results vindicate DMK: MK Stalin
Trends from the latest NEET results have once again vindicated the DMK on its stand opposing the exam, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday, reiterated that the entrance test goes against social justice and federalism. Stalin, in a post on X, said: "Trends emerging from the latest #NEET results have once again vindicated our principled opposition to the exam." “Issues such as question paper leaks, clustering of toppers at specific centres, and award of marks -- which are mathematically impossible -- under the guise of grace marks highlight the pitfalls of the current union government's centralisation. These events emphasise the need to restore the preeminence of state governments and school education system's role in determining criteria for professional course selection,” he said. 
(With PTI inputs)

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