Congress demands Supreme Court-monitored probe into NEET-UG exam controversy

Party chief Mallikarjun Kharge said the problem in NEET exam did not pertain only to grace marks

ANI | Updated: 13-06-2024 19:55 IST | Created: 13-06-2024 19:55 IST
Congress demands Supreme Court-monitored probe into NEET-UG exam controversy
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge. (File Photo). Image Credit: ANI
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Alleging that there has been fraud and "paper leak" in the NEET-UG exam conducted by National Testing Agency, the Congress on Wednesday said there was a "scam" and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the matter. Party chief Mallikarjun Kharge said the problem in NEET exam did not pertain only to grace marks.

"There has been fraud, paper leak, corruption. The future of 24 lakh students, who gave them the exam, is at stake due to the deeds of Modi government. There is nexus between exam centres and coaching centres in a which 'give money, take paper' is happening. The Modi government cannot escape its accountability by putting blame on NTA. The Congress demands an independent probe into the entire NEET scam monitored by Supreme Court," Kharge said in a post on X. He said strict punishment should be given to the guilty after probe and candidates "should be paid compensation" to save their academic year.

"Modi government has in the past year destroyed career of crores of youth through paper leak and wrongdoing," he alleged. The Congress also held a press conference on the issue. Party leader Gaurav Gogoi alleged that "BJP government's attitude towards the ongoing demand for an inquiry into the NEET exam, is irresponsible and insensitive".

"We demand a Supreme Court-monitored investigation into this entire scandal, which has affected around 24 lakh students. Ordinary families have been forced to cough up amounts close to Rs 30 lakh due to promises given to them by different coaching centres and examination centres. We believe that no inquiry can be just and fair if it is headed by NTA," he alleged. Gogoi demanded that the NTA chairperson should be removed from his post.

"Prime Minister Modi, who likes giving examination advice to class 10th students should not forget the mental anxiety of these potential undergraduates," he said, adding that PM Modi had not spoken on the issue. Gogoi said so far the government had only said that it will cancel the grace marks of 1,563 students offering them a second chance to take a retest on June 23. He said the government has not come out with any proposal to address other discrepancies and doubts among the students.

The Congress leader claimed there were videos in the public domain and that "question papers, particular questions were available for a particular amount between Rs 10 to Rs 40 lakh". Gogoi said INDIA bloc parties will take up the cause of these students.

"INDIA alliance has the sufficient strength to bring the government to its knees and make them accountable to the students," he said. Gogoi said it is a mystery, why the results were declared on June 4.

"They knew that there was a storm brewing and they wanted to avoid any discussion on these NEET results by declaring them on 4th June, when the entire country would be talking about the election results. We want a Supreme Court monitored investigation into this entire scandal because the lives of 24 lakh young Indians cannot be toyed with," he said. Meanwhile, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said that the government has accepted the Supreme Court's ruling that 1.563 candidates who had been compensated for "time loss" in NEET-UG exam be given the option to either reappear in the exam or accept the original total, without grace marks.

Pradhan hoped that the doubts surrounding the NEE-UG exam will end following the Supreme Court observations. National Testing Agency, which holds the NEET-UG exam, said on Thursday said that the grace or compensatory marks awarded to all 1563 students stand withdrawn.

"Subsequent to the Hon'ble Supreme Court's Observations on the Report of NTA's High Powered Committee, the grace / compensatory marks awarded to all 1563 students stand withdrawn. A re-test of all the 1563 candidates will be held on June 23, 2024," NTA said in a communication. "NTA will issue a Public Notice shortly and will also contact these 1563 candidates through email to ensure that they receive the official communication," it added.

Pradhan said that NEET-UG exam is conducted in around 4,500 centres and some centres abroad also. "Regarding the NEET issue, the Supreme Court made a decision today. Around 24 lakh students appeared for the NEET exam and around 13 lakh students qualified. Around 4,500 centres are there for the exams conducted in 13 languages. This time when the exam was held, in six centres out of 4500 centres, the wrong question papers were sent mistakenly," he said.

"The correct question paper was later provided but this took a little bit of time. Around 1,563 students were giving the exams in these centres and had to face time loss. Supreme Court's standing order says that instead of re-examination, grace marks are given," he added. Pradhan said NTA constituted an expert committee and applied the grace mark rule.

"Later it was found that some students got 100 per cent marks. After this, some people went to the Court. Supreme Court made it clear that 1,563 students will be given the option to either reappear in the NEET exam or accept the original marks (without grace marks). I accept the verdict of the Supreme Court. The government has taken this issue seriously. Over 50 lakh students appear for NEET, JEE and CUET exams that are conducted by NTA. Action will be taken on the people responsible for creating problems in the examination," he added. The minister said some other issues have come to the notice of government and government has taken them seriously.

He said NTA's credibility has increased as it was conducting NEET, JEE and CUET exams and steps will be taken to bring more transparency to so that there are no doubts. He said the government will present its viewpoint on the larger issue pending before the Supreme Court.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that score-cards of 1563 candidates who got "grace marks" in the 2024 National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) exam will be cancelled and the candidates will have a chance to reappear for the exam. NTA told a bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta that a committee has been constituted to review the results of over 1,563 candidates who were awarded "grace marks" to compensate for the loss of time suffered while appearing for NEET-UG.

"The Committee has decided to cancel the score-cards of 1563 NEET-UG 2024 candidates who were given grace marks and these students will be given the option to take a re-test," NTA said. "Exam will be conducted on June 23 and result will be declared before June 30," it added.

The Apex Court reiterated that it will not stay the counselling of NEET-UG, 2024. "Counselling will go on and we will not stop it. If the exam goes then everything goes in totality so nothing to fear," said the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court will hear the petitions on July 8. The Court took into record the statement of NTA that a re-test of 1563 students will be notified today itself and it would likely be held on June 23 and results would be declared before June 30 so that counselling which is set to begin in July is not affected.

Advocate Shwetank said they filed PIL regarding the NEET exam issue "and our main issue was regarding the paper leak and other malpractices by the NTA". "The Court has directed that a re-examination will be conducted on 23rd June."

Aspirants have raised the issue of leakage of question paper, awarding compensatory marks and anomalies in question of NEET 2024. Several petitions were filed in the apex court seeking direction to recall NEET-UG 2024 results and to conduct the examination afresh, alleging paper leakage and malpractices in the test held on May 5.

NEET-UG examination, conducted by NTA, is paves the way for admission to MBBS, BDS and AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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