NEET UG 2024: NTA Issues Clarification On Toppers, Grace Marks, Maintains Silence On Paper Leak Controversy; Students, Experts React

NEET UG 2024: NTA Issues Clarification On Toppers, Grace Marks, Maintains Silence On Paper Leak Controversy; Students, Experts React

NEET 2024 was conducted on May 5, 2024, across 4,750 test centers in 571 cities in India and abroad, with 13,16,268 candidates qualifying out of 23,33,297 test-takers.

Siksha MUpdated: Friday, June 07, 2024, 09:55 AM IST
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NEET UG 2024 | Freepik Image

Ever since the NEET 2024 results were declared on June 4, 2024, there has been controversy and confusion among students and stakeholders regarding various irregularities in the merit list, toppers, and scoring system. Addressing these concerns, the National Testing Agency (NTA) released a detailed press statement late on Thursday evening, providing clarifications on the questions raised by candidates.

The NEET 2024 results attracted scrutiny over the unprecedented number of 67 candidates securing rank 1, with eight of them reportedly from the same examination centre. Additionally, the distribution of grace marks by the NTA led to several students achieving scores of 718 and 719. Numerous aspirants have taken to social media, demanding the cancellation of the NEET exam held on May 5 and the conduct of a fresh examination.

Compensatory marks for loss of time

NTA clarified that the compensatory marks were awarded due to several Writ Petitions filed by NEET 2024 candidates in the High Courts of Punjab & Haryana, Delhi, and Chhattisgarh. These petitions highlighted the loss of exam time at certain centers. Following investigations by a Grievance Redressal Committee, which included examining factual reports and CCTV footage, NTA decided to compensate affected candidates.

NTA stated, “Candidates were compensated for the loss of time and the revised marks of such candidates vary from -20 to 720 marks. Amongst these, the score of two candidates also happens to be 718 and 719 marks respectively, due to compensatory marks. On the analysis of the CCTV footage, it was ascertained that the integrity of the examination was not compromised at these Centre.”

Increase in NEET UG Topper explained

Stakeholders have also questioned the occurrence of 67 candidates scoring a perfect 720 out of 720 marks, particularly with multiple toppers from the same examination center. NTA responded by highlighting the increased number of test-takers this year.

According to the NTA, the number of students who took the NEET 2024 exam increased by about 15%. “The number of candidates who appeared in 2023 was 20,38,596, while the number of candidates who appeared in 2024 increased to 23,33,297. The increase in candidates naturally led to an increase in high scorers due to a larger pool of candidates,” NTA said.

Physics Question and bonus marks

The NTA acknowledged that a specific physics question with two correct answer options resulted in 44 candidates achieving perfect scores.

The agency clarified, “NTA received 13,373 challenges to the provisional answer key of one question in physics. Due to the differences in the old and new editions of the NCERT textbook, the Subject Expert(s) held that two options be taken as correct in place of one option for this Question. Out of the 67 candidates who got 720/720 marks, 44 are on account of the revision in one Answer Key of Physics and 06 are on account of compensatory marks for loss of time.”

As per the NTA's NEET 2024 marking scheme, candidates who have marked any of the correct options will receive four marks (+4) if multiple options are found to be correct.

Regarding the claim that applicants from a specific Rajasthani NEET exam center received a score of 720 out of 720, NTA stated, "It is important to note that the top scorers are from all over the nation, as indicated in the Press Release dated 04.06.2024."

Result declaration process

Addressing concerns regarding the early release of the NEET 2024 results, the NTA emphasised that exam results are released as soon as all required verifications are done following the answer key challenge period.

“NTA managed to declare the Results of about 23 lakh candidates within 30 days. The Result of JEE (Main) 2024 Session-1 was declared in 11 days and that of Session-2 (combined with Session - 1) was declared in 15 days. The Result of NEET (UG) 2024 has been processed as per the established procedure,” reads the NTA press release.

Paper leak allegation

The NTA maintained its stance that there was no paper leak in NEET 2024, although cases of impersonation were identified and addressed.

NTA stated, “NTA has registered cases against impersonators and some cases have been registered by the State Police. NTA has been extending support, wherever required, to the agencies in investigating cases pertaining to NEET (UG) 2024. While the outcome of the investigation in aforesaid cases is awaited, NTA has categorically denied any case of paper leak. NTA also issued a detailed Press Release on May 6, 2024, stating that there has not been any paper leak, as was being circulated on social media. The same stand has been reiterated and NTA maintains that the integrity of the examination was not compromised.”

Students, experts dissatisfied with the clarification

However, leaders, experts and students have expressed their dissatisfaction on the NEET result, with many alleging a 'scam' taking place in hindsight. The clarification has also not gone down well with many of them, with #NEETscam and #NEETfraud trending on X.

Many have also shared pictures of OMR sheets of students wherein the students had actually scored 626/720, but due to grace marks criteria have received the full marks instead.

Alakh Pandey, founder of PhysicsWallah also took to X, urging NTA to remove the normalisation process.

NEET 2024 was conducted on May 5, 2024, across 4,750 test centers in 571 cities in India and abroad, with 13,16,268 candidates qualifying out of 23,33,297 test-takers.

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