Supreme Court Stresses Retest Necessity for NEET-UG 2024 Amid Integrity Concerns

The Supreme Court, on Monday, commenced a pivotal hearing on over 30 petitions linked to the NEET-UG 2024, the medical entrance exam embroiled in controversy due to allegations of irregularities and malpractices reported during the test held on May 5. The bench, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, is also reviewing a separate plea from over 50 successful Gujarat-based candidates, urging the court to prevent potential cancellation of the exam results by the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA).

The crux of the matter lies in the integrity of the examination process. During the session, the court firmly stated, “If the sanctity of the exam is lost, then a re-test has to be ordered.” This statement underscores the court’s determination to uphold the fairness and validity of the examination process, particularly when there is substantial evidence suggesting malpractice.

The hearing revealed troubling details, including an inability to differentiate between the genuine candidates and those who might have benefited unfairly. Additionally, concerns were raised about the potential widespread nature of the malpractices, especially with allegations pointing towards the use of social media platforms like Telegram and WhatsApp to disseminate leaked exam content rapidly.

One of the significant observations made by the court was the unusual result pattern, where 67 candidates scored the perfect mark of 720, with six from a single centre in Haryana. This anomaly raised severe doubts and led to the cancellation of grace marks previously awarded to 1,563 candidates, with an option for these students to either retake the test or forego the compensatory marks.

The Supreme Court has requested detailed information on the beneficiaries of the leak, the actions taken against them, and their geographical distribution. This demand for transparency and accountability highlights the court’s proactive approach in not only addressing the present controversy but also in setting a precedent for handling future occurrences.

In an interesting move, the Supreme Court suggested involving a cyber forensic unit and the use of artificial intelligence to identify the culprits, reflecting an innovative approach towards solving complex issues surrounding modern examination processes.

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As the hearings continue, the court’s commitment to preserving the integrity of the NEET-UG examination is clear. With the NTA and the Union education ministry already under scrutiny for how the May 5 test was managed.

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