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NTA Explains Reasons Behind NEET Controversy

| Updated: June 8, 2024 14:02

 Some The National Testing Agency (NTA) has declared the results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, Undergraduate (NEET UG. The results drew immediate attention for the extraordinarily large number of candidates who got the perfect score of 720/720, and for the reason that some candidates got 718 or 719 — marks that others claimed were impossible to get in the scheme of the exam.

At least two petitions have been filed in two High Courts against the results. On June 1, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court asking that the examination be held again on the ground that the question paper had been leaked. Last month, hearing another, similar petition, the Supreme Court had declined to stay the publication of the results.

Around 2.4 million candidates took the entrance examination held on May 5 in 571 cities, 14 of which were outside India. There are a total of 1,08,940 MBBS seats in more than 700 medical colleges across the country.

On Thursday, the NTA issued a press release clarifying some of the concerns that have been raised around the examination.

A total 67 examinees maxed the paper, achieving All India Rank 1. There were two toppers last year, and one, three, one, and one in 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019 respectively.

At least 44 of the 67 toppers got the answer to a basic physics question wrong but were still given “grace marks” because an older version of the NCERT’s Class 12 textbook had a mistake.

A provisional answer key released by NTA on May 29 picked the correct answer out of the choices given to the candidates, but more than 13,000 candidates challenged the key on the ground that the textbook contained information that pointed to a different answer.

An NTA said  that it had been decided to not penalise these students “since we strongly recommend all aspirants study only from NCERT textbooks for their NEET preparation”.

In its press release, NTA said that the number of candidates who appeared in the 2024 exam was almost 3 lakh more than the 2023 number, and “the increase in candidates naturally led to an increase in high scorers due to a larger pool of candidates”.

Also, according to the NTA official, the 2024 NEET was “comparatively easier” than previous years.

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