NEET UG results are a mess: Aspirants question alleged paper leak, scoring process and more

Allegations of NEET paper leak started circulating on social media after a significant number of students scored full marks (720).

BySumit Jha

Published Jun 05, 2024 | 7:24 PM Updated Jun 05, 2024 | 7:24 PM

NEET UG exam row

The results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) or (NEET-UG) 2024, declared on Tuesday, 4 June have surprised many, as 67 candidates have achieved the All India Rank 1.

Additionally, a significant number of students scored full marks (720), leading to allegations of a NEET paper leak scam circulating on social media. Scorecards of candidates with 718 or 719 marks also have begun to surface.

This raised questions about the scoring process of the NEET exam, as its marking scheme awards four marks for each correct answer and deducts one mark for an incorrect one. Thus, after the full score of 720, the next possible score should be 716 if one question is left unanswered, and 715 if one question is answered incorrectly.

Further fueling the controversy, the NEET merit list released by the National Testing Agency (NTA), showed that eight students from the same centre scored 720 marks, adding to the suspicion and discussions online.

NEET Exam 2024

The NTA announced the NEET-UG Result 2024 on 4 June. Out of the 24,06,079 candidates who registered, 23,33,297 appeared for the examination and the exam was conducted on 5 May, accommodating over 24 lakh candidates.

The exam took place in 13 languages across 4,750 centres in 571 cities throughout India. Notably, a record-breaking 67 students topped the NEET UG this year, each achieving a percentile of 99.997129.

NEET-UG is the qualifying entrance exam for admission to various medical and healthcare courses, including Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery (BAMS), Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery (BSMS), Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS), Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS), and BSC (H) Nursing courses.

Also Read: Doctor explains how wheezing medicine causes tremors in a Hyderabad patient

The NEET score controversy

Several students took to social media platforms to express their dissatisfaction and demand clearer explanations from the NTA. One student wrote on X:

“#NEET fraud, How anyone can score 718 marks? It is impossible after 720 you can only score 716 marks. 718 is not possible. This is a scam. If 89 students have scored 720 marks how can he get All India Rank 69? If you have doubt, go to website and enter his roll number.”

According to the marking scheme, four marks are awarded for each correct answer, and one mark is deducted for each incorrect answer. “On what grounds has this been done? All the students who appeared in NEET 2024 deserve to know this in detail,” another user asked, seeking an explanation from the NTA.

Echoing the concerns raised by several candidates, Dr Dhruv Chauhan, a health activist and National Council Coordinator of IMA-JDN, wrote,

“If despite so much evidence, including an FIR related to the NEET UG leak in Patna, proofs of results showing irregularities, and a similar sequence of results topping the exam, the National Testing Agency @NTA_Exams and @PMOIndia don’t take any action, millions of students will lose trust in this education system forever!!”

Related: NTA announces results for medical entrance exam NEET-UG

NTA’s clarification

NTA said in a statement that the marks given to some students were ‘grace marks’ after they raised concerns about insufficient time during the exam.

“NTA received few representations and Court Cases from the candidates of NEET (UG) 2024 raising concerns of loss of time during the conduct of the examination on 05.05.2024. Such cases/representations were considered by NTA and the normalisation formula, which has been devised and adopted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, vide its Judgment dated 13.06.2018, was implemented to address the loss of time faced by the candidates of NEET (UG) 2024,” the NTA stated.

“The loss of examination time was ascertained and such candidates were compensated with grace marks. So, candidate’s marks can be 718 or 719 also,” the NTA explained.

However, people have criticised the procedure followed in giving said marks to students. Ahitesh Haldar wrote in X asking to clear how many grace marks were given and to what number of students it was given to.

Paper leak scam

This year’s NEET UG 2024 exam faced significant controversy following the revelation of a paper leak scam in Bihar. Approximately 13 individuals, including four examinees and their family members, were arrested for their alleged involvement in the scam.

Patna police sources previously claimed that NEET-UG question papers – with answers – were provided to around 20 aspirants a day before the exam on 5 May. The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar Police, which took over the investigation, disclosed that brokers involved in the scam charged between ₹30 lahks to ₹50 lahks from each medical aspirant in exchange for the leaked question papers.

In response to these allegations, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed before the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on the exam results. Although the Apex Court refused to stay the results, it agreed to consider the matter and issued a notice regarding the PIL, which called for the re-conduction of the NEET UG exams due to the alleged malpractices and paper leak.

(Edited by Neena)