NEET-UG exam row: 'Transparent process will be...,' assures Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to students, parents

The education minister ruled out the possibility of any irregularities in the NEET-UG exam, stating that there has been 'no paper leak' in the NEET-UG paper and government is ready to give answers to the SC which is hearing the petitions related to the exam.

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NEET-UG exam row: 'Transparent process will be...,' assures Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to students, parents
Union Education Minister with students and their parents. (ANI)

Amid the controversy surrounding the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET-Undergraduate), Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday assured students that a transparent process will be followed and they should not worry. 

Pradhan, earlier today, held a meeting with a few students who appeared for the NEET exam, accompanied by their parents. He addressed their concerns and assured them that no injustice would be done to the students.

"The government assures the students that full transparency will be adopted in the probe into alleged irregularities and re-conducting the NEET exams. The students do not need to worry," Pradhan said while speaking to ANI.

"Students who wanted to meet us today, I called them, their parents also came, I met them. I heard their side and I made them feel better. The government is committed, and all students should have this assurance that a transparent process will be followed. 24 lakh students were the applicants, and 23.30 lakh students have taken the exam, this is natural, whatever doubts come to their minds, some issues came to mind that some irregularities in the centre were noticed, due to lack of time for grace marks, some objections were raised in the formula used for giving grace marks, that was also rectified", he added.

Pradhan further stated, "The Supreme Court permitted them to take the exam again yesterday, they have been informed. Those who want to take the exam can take the exam there as well".

However, the education minister on Thursday ruled out the possibility of any irregularities in the NEET-UG examination, stating that there has been 'no paper leak' in the NEET-UG paper and government is ready to give answers to the Supreme Court which is hearing the petitions related to the exam.

"I want to assure the students and their parents that the Government of India and NTA are committed to providing justice to them. Twenty-four lakh students have successfully taken the NEET examination. There is no paper leak, no proof has been found yet. A court-recommended model was adopted for around 1560 students and a panel of academicians has been formed for the same...We will accept the verdict of the Court," he said.

Meanwhile, the National Testing Agency (NTA) told the Supreme Court on Thursday that the scorecards 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.

The 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 scorecards 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.

"The exam will be conducted on June 23 and the results will be declared before June 30," it added. The Apex Court reiterated that it will not continue 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 there is nothing to fear," said the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court will hear the petitions on July 8Several 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.

The May 5 exam, conducted by NTA across 4,750 centres for nearly 24 lakh students, has been put in the docks over allegations relating to paper leaks and questionable grace marks. An unprecedented 67 students have achieved a perfect score of 720, which has added to the concerns. 

Meanwhile, the opposition has also been questioning the central government over the alleged "scam" in conducting the NEET-UG examinations. Several students in different parts of the country also organised protests demanding a probe into the reported irregularities. Earlier on Thursday, Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge took a swipe at the centre over reported irregularities in the NEET-UG exams.

"Grace marks were not the only problem in NEET exam. There has been rigging, papers have been leaked, and corruption has taken place. The future of 24 lakh students appearing in the NEET examination is at stake due to the actions of the Modi government. A nexus of exam centres and coaching centres has been formed, where the game of 'pay money, get paper' is being played", Kharge wrote in a post on 'X'.

"The Modi government cannot escape its responsibility by placing the responsibility of its actions on the shoulders of the NTA. The Congress Party demands a fair investigation, under the supervision of the Supreme Court, into the entire NEET scam. After investigation, the culprits should be given the harshest punishment and lakhs of students should be given compensation to save their year from being wasted. In the last 10 years, the Modi government has ruined the future of crores of youth through paper leaks and rigging," he added.

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

(This story has not been edited by DNA staff and is published from ANI)

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