NEET-UG result controversy: NTA says it gave marks on the loss of time, revision in answer key

The results were announced on June 4, and since then, the results have been mired in controversy. Many students, parents, and even medical practitioners have taken to social media to slam NTA.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | NTA)

NEW DELHI: After controversy over inflation of marks that led to a record 67 candidates bagging the top first rank, the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the exam, on Thursday said it was due to revision in the answer key in physics exam and on account of compensatory marks for loss of time.

“Out of the 67 candidates who got 720/720 marks, 44 are on account of the revision in one answer key of Physics and six are on account of compensatory marks for loss of time,” a statement by NTA said, as students, parents, educators, and even medical fraternity questioned how 67 students shared the same rank one.

“It is pertinent to mention that the toppers are from across the country,” NTA further said, denying that there were six toppers from the same examination centre in Haryana. The Congress raised the question that six students from the same centre got 720 out of 720 marks. The party also said that the future of lakhs of youth in the country is getting ruined due to a paper leak and now due to an error.

Image used for representational purpose only.
NEET-UG results announced: Record 67 students get rank 1

The results were announced on June 4, and since then, the results have been mired in controversy. Many students, parents, and even medical practitioners have taken to social media to slam NTA.

In the statement, NTA said,” The cut-off scores are determined based on the overall performance of candidates each year. The cutoff increase reflects the examination's competitive nature and the candidates' higher performance standards this year.”

Addressing the controversy on 67 toppers in NEET-UG, NTA said that last year, 20,38,596 candidates appeared for the exam, while the number of candidates who appeared in 2024 increased to 23,33,297.

“The increase in candidates naturally led to an increase in high scorers due to a larger pool of candidates,” it said in the comprehensive statement, addressing one by one all the questions raised by students, parents, and others in the social media. 

NTA further said that they received 13,373 challenges to the provisional answer key of one question in Physics.

“Due to the differences in the old and new editions of the NCERT textbook, the Subject Expert(s) held that two options should be taken as correct instead of one option for this question.”

On compensatory marks for loss of time, a thing many highlighted was done for the first time; NTA said a few writ petitions were filed by the NEET-UG candidates before the courts of Punjab and Haryana, Delhi, and Chhattisgarh, raising concerns of loss of exam time during the exam held on May 5 at few exam centres.

The concerns the candidates raised through the writ petitions and representations submitted to NTA required careful consideration for redressal. It said that a grievance redressal committee consisting of eminent experts from the field of examination and academia was constituted to look into such grievances/representations and submit its recommendations.

NTA added that the committee considered the grievances based on factual reports of the functionaries and CCT footage from concerned exam centres. The candidates were then compensated with marks based on their answering efficiency and time lost.

“1563 candidates were compensated for the loss of time, and the revised marks of such candidates vary from -20 to 720 marks. Amongst these, the scores of the two candidates also happen to be 718 and 719 marks, respectively, due to compensatory marks. “On the analysis of the CCTV footage, it was ascertained that the integrity of the examination was not compromised at these Centres,” it added.

It also added that they followed all the procedures and were transparent in declaring the results – a point raised by many that the results were announced in a hurry. “NTA has a set method of transparency adopted across all its examinations."

Denying any paper leak, NTA said action was taken in incidents of unfair means cases by existing rules, including the cancellation of candidature and debarment from future examinations of NTA.

“NTA has registered cases against impersonators, and the state police have registered some cases. While the outcome of the investigation in the cases above is awaited, NTA has categorically denied any paper leak case,” it further said.

“The same stand has been reiterated, and NTA maintains that the integrity of the examination was not compromised,” it added.

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