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NEET-UG Counselling From July 3rd Week, Don’t Want Retest: Centre To Supreme Court



The Centre said holding a retest would burden nearly 24 lakh students.

New Delhi:

A day before the Supreme Court hears a clutch of petitions on the alleged irregularities in NEET-UG, the Centre on Wednesday submitted an affidavit in the court stating that a comprehensive analysis of the results has revealed that there was no large-scale malpractice or evidence of a local set of candidates benefiting. 

The Union government also reiterated its stance that it does not intend to hold a retest of the medical entrance exam. Doing so on the basis of “unsubstantiated suspicions”, it said, would burden nearly 24 lakh students, who had appeared for the exam on May 5.

Importantly, the Centre has said that it intends to start the counselling process for NEET-UG, which is the final stage for admissions, from the third week of July in four phases. If any candidate is found to have benefited from any irregularity, their counselling will be cancelled in any of the phases or even after, it said. 

While some petitioners in the Supreme Court have demanded that the medical entrance exam be held again in view of the irregularities and the alleged paper leak, others have petitioned against a retest. 

Bell Curve

In its affidavit, the Centre said experts from IIT Madras have carried out a technical analysis of data from NEET-UG 2024 and found no indication of mass malpractice or a localised set of candidates being benefited, leading to abnormal scores.

The data revealed that there is an overall increase in the marks obtained by students, specifically in the range of 550 to 720, and this rise has been seen across cities and centres. 

The Centre said the increase can be attributed to a 25% reduction in syllabus, and the fact that high scorers were spread out points to a very low likelihood of mass malpractice. 

The analysis also showed that the distribution of marks follows a bell-shaped curve, which is seen in any large-scale examination, and was further evidence of there not being an abnormality, the affidavit stated.

Counselling Plan

The Centre “respectfully submitted” that it intends to start the counselling process in the third week of July and conduct it in four rounds. The government said that IIT Madras has been requested to investigate the people involved in irregularities through data analysis and if evidence from that, or other sources, reveals that any candidate is found to have benefited, their counselling will be cancelled at any stage during or after the process.

On the re-examination issue, the Centre said it is not in support of that because it does not want nearly 24 lakh candidates burdened on the basis of “unsubstantiated suspicions”.

In an earlier affidavit too, the government had said scrapping the 2024 exam in its entirety would “seriously jeopardise” the future of lakhs of honest candidates who had appeared for it. In the absence of proof of any large-scale breach of confidentiality in the examination, it had said, taking such a step would not be rational.

In addition to the CBI investigation, the Centre has also proposed a seven-member expert panel to consider all the issues raised, so that no such leaks or irregularities happen in future exams.

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