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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Neet-UG 2024 row: Centre tells SC that NTA grace marks withdrawn, govt denies paper leak, Cong vows to fight for students

Education minister Drahmendra Pradhan, Opposition in war of words after re-test decision

Our Web Desk, PTI Published 13.06.24, 02:05 PM

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The row over the Neet-UG exam for admission to MBBS, BDS and others medical courses took a political turn after the Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the decision to give grace marks to 1,563 candidates has been cancelled and that these candidates will be given an option to take a re-test on June 23.

The counsel for the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA), which holds the Neet-UG exam, told a vacation bench of justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta that the students who were given grace marks will be given an option to take the re-test.

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The court said it will not stay the counselling process for admissions.

Shortly after news of the developments in the Supreme Court broke, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan rejected allegations of paper leak in the exam.

"There is no evidence of paper leak in NEET-UG. The allegations of corruption in NTA are unfounded, it is a very credible body," PTI quoted Pradhan as telling the media. "The Supreme Court is hearing the matter and we will abide by its decision. We will ensure no student is at a disadvantage.”

The Congress was not satisfied.

“It has been decided that the scorecards of 1,563 students will be cancelled and they will be given an option to reattempt the exam on June 23. If some students do not wish to give the test again, then grace marks will be deducted from their current score and that will be their final score. But we have heard nothing from the government on the larger scam,” Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi was quoted by PTI as having said.

In a video posted by another news agency, ANI, Gogoi was quoted as having said: "The Congress party believes that the BJP government's attitude towards the ongoing demand for an enquiry into the Neet exam is irresponsible and insensitive. We demand a Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the 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. No enquiry can be a just fair and comprehensive enquiry if it is headed by the NTA themselves.

“Instead of paying attention to the Neet scam, PM Modi is busy attending oath ceremonies and going on foreign trips,” Gogoi added..

“Rest assured, the INDIA alliance will take up the cause of these students because that is our responsibility... Now the INDIA alliance has sufficient strength to bring the government to its knees and make them accountable to the students,” he said.

“It is a mystery why these results were declared on 4th June. It can only point that they knew there was a storm brewing and they wanted to avoid any discussions on the Neet results by declaring them on 4 June when the entire country would be talking about the election results," he added.

Several cities, including Delhi and Indore, have witnessed protests over the Neet-UG 2024 exam row.

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