NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court on Friday stayed an order of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court which awarded 196 grace marks to NEET candidates who wrote the exam in Tamil. The marks were to be awarded due to errors in translation of the question paper.
The court also ordered the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to continue the second round of counselling for medical admissions in Tamil Nadu, which was suspended after the high court order.
Issuing a notice on the CBSE’s plea challenging the high court order, a bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao further suggested that the CBSE form a committee of academics to vet the questions and their translations in regional languages.
The court then slated the hearing after two weeks and asked the parties to come out with a solution to deal with the situation. “We cannot dole out marks in this fashion. What will happen to the meritorious students? This is an all-India exam. And this is not some pass marks, but a bonus of 196 marks. These grace marks are given even without taking into consideration that students may have gone wrong in their answers even if the translations were accurate,” it said.
Those who wrote the exam in Tamil appeared to have an advantage after the judgement, Justice Bobde observed and pointed out that in one of the questions, the word ‘cheetah’ was wrongly translated to ‘Sita’ in Tamil.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the CBSE, blamed the errors on translators provided by the state government, and highlighted how an additional 196 marks could, in some cases, make the final marks of some students cross the total maximum marks.The Madurai bench of the Madras HC on July 10 ordered the CBSE to grant 196 marks — 4 each for 49 questions — to those who took the NEET in Tamil.