NEW DELHI: The National Testing Agency under the Union education ministry has debarred 20 candidates from appearing in Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Mains for the next three years for using "unfair means". Their results have been withheld, the agency said while announcing the combined rank for all four phases of the test.
The last session of the test conducted in late August and early September was marred with controversy as at least one examination centre in Haryana was compromised with its devices hacked.
The case was promptly handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation which arrested 11 people for allegedly trying to subvert the engineering entrance exams, which also doubles up as the screening test for entrance into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology.
There were allegations that the accused used to charge around Rs 15 lakh from candidates in exchange for someone else taking the test in their place.
As per the NTA rules, “unfair means” include “using someone to write examinations (impersonation) or preparing material for copying” and being in possession of prohibited articles like stationery items and communication devices, among others.
Meanwhile, the results declared by the NTA showed that a total of 44 students—the highest ever-- obtained a perfect 100 percentile score.
Of over 10.48 lakh students who applied to appear for JEE Main results in all four sessions, as many as 9,39,008 took the exam while 2,52,954 students appeared in all four sessions.
Most registrations were for the August or the last session with 76,7700 candidates signing up for the test, however, the -maximum number of students who appeared in the test - 6.21 lakh- was during the first session.
This year, as many as 18 students got rank 1. Significantly, the rank preparation list which includes the results from all the sessions was based on a new formula and to prepare the merit list, students who shared the same score had to undergo a revised tie-breaking criteria.
The age was dropped as one of the criteria for ranking the students while marks obtained in math, physics, and chemistry were considered respectively followed by students who scored the least negatives.
In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, the NTA had decided to conduct JEE Mains four times this year beginning from February and the best score of the four exams was taken into account for preparing the final merit list.