Education

Fraud Allegations Spark Political Battle, New SC Petition Seeks Exam Cancellation

The NEET-UG 2024 examination has sparked a contentious debate following allegations of irregularities and subsequent political uproar. The Supreme Court’s involvement was triggered by a plea seeking a CBI investigation into accusations of question paper leaks and other misconduct during the exam. Scheduled for further hearing on July 8, the court has requested responses from the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) regarding these serious concerns.

Adding to the complexity, a group of 20 students has filed a fresh petition urging the cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 exam. They have also called for an independent inquiry supervised by the Supreme Court, proposing involvement from the CBI or another impartial agency to investigate reported irregularities in the May 5 examination.

Previously, the Centre had announced the grant of grace marks to 1,563 NEET-UG candidates affected by time loss issues during the exam. However, this decision was subsequently reversed. The NTA has arranged a retest on June 23 for these candidates, with results expected on June 30. Candidates opting out of the retest will have their previous marks considered, excluding the grace marks, for result purposes.

Amid these developments, both the NTA and the Centre have vehemently denied allegations of irregularities, asserting that the integrity of the NEET-UG exam remained intact. They attribute the increase in top scores to heightened competitiveness and enhanced performance standards, dismissing claims to the contrary.

Politically, the controversy has elicited strong reactions. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra criticized the BJP government, accusing it of undermining youth aspirations shortly after taking office. Digvijay Singh has called for a comprehensive investigation and the annulment of the entire NEET-UG exam.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav also condemned the central government, alleging a lack of seriousness in addressing issues related to exam integrity. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin reiterated his opposition to NEET, citing concerns over fairness and its impact on students from diverse backgrounds.

Amidst heightened scrutiny, several arrests have been made across different states. In one notable incident, five individuals, including a school principal and teacher in Gujarat’s Panchmahal district, were apprehended for allegedly facilitating cheating during the NEET-UG exam for a substantial fee.

As the controversy surrounding NEET-UG 2024 continues to unfold, there is mounting pressure on authorities to address the allegations and ensure transparency in the examination process. With the Supreme Court set to delve deeper into the matter, stakeholders await further developments that could significantly influence the future of aspiring students nationwide.

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