Scrapping NEET-UG exam in entirety would seriously jeopardise honest candidates: Centre to SC

    The Hawk
    July5/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The Ministry of Education emphasized the need for a thorough CBI investigation into the allegations while maintaining that the exam results should stand.

    The Supreme Court

    New Delhi: The Central government has told the Supreme Court that, in the absence of any proof of any large-scale breach of confidentiality in the NEET-UG 2024 examination, it would not be rational to scrap the entire examination.
    Scrapping the NEET-UG exam held on May 5 in its entirety would "seriously jeopardise" the lakhs of honest candidates who attempted the question paper in 2024, said the Ministry of Education.
    It further stated that Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been asked to conduct investigation into the entire gamut of allegations of alleged irregularities, including conspiracy, cheating, impersonation, breach of trust, etc.
    "In the absence of any proof of any large-scale breach of confidentiality in a pan-India examination, it would not be rational to scrap the entire examination and the results already declared. It is submitted that in any examination, there are competing rights that have been created whereby the interests of a large number of students who have taken the examination without adopting any alleged unfair means must not also be jeopardised. Scrapping the exam in entirety would seriously jeopardise the lakhs of honest candidates who attempted the question paper in 2024," stated the affidavit.

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    The Center further submitted in its affidavit that the Union of India is committed to conduct of all competitive examinations in a "fair and transparent manner."
    "The Union of India duly appreciates that the confidentiality of the question papers is the utmost priority in any examination and that if due to some criminality at the behest of some criminal elements, the confidentiality has been breached, the Union of India submits that the said person must be dealt sternly and with the full force of law to ensure that they are punished," the affidavit read.
    The Center has filed affidavit on a batch of petitions pending before 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.
    The apex court had already refused to stay the counselling of NEET-UG, 2024.
    The top court will hear the cases on July 8.
    Responding on the petitions, the Ministry said that prayers raised in the petitions for cancellation of the exam and the re-test based on "surmises" and "conjectures" must be rejected.
    It also informed the apex court that a high-level committee has been constituted to suggest measures for effective, smooth and transparent conduct of the examinations by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
    The committee has started its deliberations and has invited suggestions from the public on reform measures, it added.

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    Meanwhile, NTA has also filed affidavit in the Supreme Court opposing the cancellation of the NEET-UG exam and said that alleged malpractices were only in Patna and Godhra centres and entire exam should not be cancelled based on individual instances.
    Sanctity of NEET-UG cannot be impeached by sporadic instances of alleged paper leak which is confined to very small number of candidates, it said.
    "Isolated and sporadic instances of alleged paper leak, which are confined to very small number of candidates may not be considered sufficient to impeach and assail the sanctity of NEET-UG 2024. Even otherwise, proportionately large number of candidates, who are not involved and do not have any co- relation with such incidents, do not deserved to made innocent victims to suffer the adverse consequences flowing from avoidable re-conduct of the entire examination," submitted the testing agency.
    Earlier, while hearing the case the top court had told Centre and NTA that if there is any negligence in conducting NEET-UG exam, it should be dealt thoroughly with.
    NEET-UG examination, conducted by NTA, is the pathway for admissions into MBBS, BDS and AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country.