Grace marks awarded to 1563 candidates of NEET-UG, 2024, Canceled, will be allowed to take re-test: Centre tells Supreme Court.

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Today (June 13, 2024), the Central Government informed the Supreme Court (SC) of India that a decision to cancel the grace marks awarded to 1563 students of NEET-UG (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate), 2024 by the NTA (National Testing Agency) had been taken. Moreover, the SC was informed that 1563 candidates will be given the option to appear for a re-test and those who do not want to take the re-test, their scores as of the May 05, 2024 exam will be considered. During the proceedings, Advocate Kanu Agarwal who appeared for the Centre told the vacation bench constituting Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Sandeep Mehta that the panel formed by the NTA decided as mentioned earlier on June 12, 2024. He further said the panel opined that the award of compensatory marks based on loss of time to 1563 students resulted in a ‘skewed situation’. Also, the SC considered the submissions of the learned counsel appearing for the NTA, Senior Advocate Naresh Kaushik, that the re-test will be likely held on June 23 and the same will be notified by today itself. He also added that the results of the re-test will be delivered by or before June 30 for ensuring that the counseling can shart as scheduled that is on July 06, 2024.

After hearing the contentions, the SC vacation bench ordered, “The petitioner who had appeared for NEET-UG 2024 has raised a grievance regarding the grant of compensatory marks to 1563 candidates using the normalization formula where, at the examination centres, the candidates who were not allowed 3 hours 20 minutes time admissible to them were permitted to take their examination for lesser time. The compensatory marks have been awarded based on the recommendation of a Grievance Redressal Committee relying upon a judgment of this Court in the case of Disha Panchal vs. Union of India and others. This award of compensatory marks was challenged. The National Testing Agency constituted another committee to reconsider the issue and gave its recommendation on the award of compensatory marks. The subsequent committee held meetings on 10, 11, and 12th June 2024 and has made recommendations which have been placed before us.”

It added, “According to the recommendations, it has been suggested that the score-cards of the affected 1563 candidates issued on June 04, 2024, will stand canceled and withdrawn. These affected 1563 candidates will be informed of their actual scores without compensatory marks. Further, re-examination will be conducted for the affected 1563 candidates. The results of the affected candidates who do not wish to appear for the re-examination will be declared on their actual marks without compensation obtained by them in the examination held on May 05, 2024, and the marks obtained by the candidates who will appear in the retest will be considered and their marks based on the examination held on May 05, 2024, will be discarded.” 

In context to this case, one of the petitions was filed by the CEO of Physics Wallah, Alakh Pandey, who said, “Today, NTA accepted in front of the Supreme Court that the grace marks given to the students were wrong and they agree that this created dissatisfaction among the students and they agreed that they will remove the grace marks. Re-examination of those 1,563 students who got grace marks will be done on 23rd June or the original score without grace marks would be accepted by the students. NTA agreed in front of the SC that the grace marks they awarded were wrong. The question is if the NTA has other discrepancies that we are unaware of. So, there is a trust issue with NTA. The issue of paper leak is open and hearing on that will continue.” Also, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, while speaking on the issue, said that appropriate actions will be taken against those behind this mess stating, “The government is taking this issue seriously.”