‘Eradicate this malady’: Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin urges state governments to raise voice against NEET

Stalin said the trends that emerged from the latest NEET results had once again vindicated Tamil Nadu's principled opposition to the exam.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 07, 2024 | 2:09 PM Updated Jun 07, 2024 | 2:09 PM

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin.

Amidst the issues pertaining to the conduct and the declaration of the results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) UG-2024, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday, 7 June, urged all state governments to raise their voices against entrance exams and join hands to “eradicate this malady”.

The results of NEET-UG 2024, announced on Tuesday, sparked widespread surprise and controversy.

An unprecedented 67 candidates achieved the All India Rank (AIR) 1, scoring full marks (720). This led to allegations on social media of a NEET paper leak scam. There were also several reports of student suicides following the announcements of results.

There is also a plea pending in the Supreme Court by some candidates demanding a fresh NEET-UG 2024 exam, raising concerns about a paper leak and the integrity of the test.

Also Read: Amid student suicides and suicide threats, allegations of a nationwide scam

‘Vindicated our opposition’

In a post on X, Stalin said the trends that emerged from the latest NEET results had once again vindicated their (Tamil Nadu) principled opposition to the exam.

“Issues such as question paper leaks, clustering of toppers at specific centres, and award of marks, which are mathematically impossible, under the guise of grace marks highlight the pitfalls of the current Union Government’s centralisation,” the chief minister said.

“These events emphasise the need to restore the preeminence state governments’ and school education system’s role in determining criteria for professional course selection,” he added.

Stalin also reiterated the issues being put forward by the Tamil Nadu government regarding various entrance exams.

He said:

  • NEET and other entrance examinations are anti-poor.
  • They undermine federal polity.
  • They are against social justice.
  • They impact the availability of doctors in deserving areas.

“Let’s join hands to eradicate this malady. That day is not far!” Stalin added.

The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu has been against the conduct of NEET and other entrance exams in the state for years.

In November last year, Stain had said that NEET was imposed on Tamil Nadu, “destroying” its medical infrastructure and asserted that the state would get itself exempted, with public support.

NEET results controversy

The results of NEET-UG 2024, announced 67 candidates achieved full marks (720) which led to allegations on social media of a NEET paper leak scam.

Scorecards showing marks of 718 or 719 also surfaced, raising further questions.

The controversy stemmed from NEET’s marking scheme, which awards four marks for each correct answer and deducts one mark for each incorrect one.

Thus, after the full score of 720, the next possible score should be 716 if one question is unanswered and 715 if one question is answered incorrectly. This discrepancy in scores has fueled suspicion.

Adding to the speculation, the merit list released by the NTA revealed that eight students from the same centre scored 720 marks, further intensifying discussions about potential irregularities.

The cut-off scores this year are significantly higher, with students scoring less than 660 marks having slim chances of securing admission to government medical colleges.

This is a sharp increase from the previous year, when students with 600 marks were able to secure seats in government colleges.

These concerns, particularly in light of the persistent rumours about the paper leak, have raised serious questions about the credibility of NEET 2024.

The NTA awarded grace marks as per court order, but students argued that this sudden decision was unjust as the agency did not clarify the methodology used to award these grace marks. Calls for transparency in the process have intensified.

The controversy surrounding the NTA is growing as hundreds of thousands of students demand a re-examination, citing the lack of clarity in the NTA’s explanations. They have even sought intervention from the Supreme Court.

The fairness of giving grace marks for lost exam time is a major concern among the students.

Also Read: Increase in cut-off, toppers reflect NEET’s competitive nature: NTA

Matter in Supreme Court

Demanding a fresh NEET-UG 2024 exam, a group of candidates has petitioned the Supreme Court, raising concerns about a paper leak and the integrity of the test.

The NTA has been named as a party in the plea filed by Shivangi Mishra and others.

The plea, filed on 1 June through lawyer Usha Nandini V, alleges that the NEET-UG test held on 5 May was marred by malpractices, including several instances of paper leaks.

The petitioners argued that the alleged paper leak violated Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution as it provided an unfair advantage to some candidates over others who attempted the examination honestly.

The plea sought a direction from the Supreme Court to conduct a fresh examination to ensure fairness.

According to PTI reports, the plea may be listed before a vacation bench soon.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)