IIT-Madras report: Centre dismisses mass malpractice in NEET-UG 2024

The Centre has submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court citing findings from a data analytics report by the IIT-Madras on July 10, regarding NEET-UG 2024. The report conclusively ruled out any widespread malpractice or localized benefits among candidates that could lead to abnormal scores.

| Updated: 11 July, 2024 4:12 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Centre has submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court citing findings from a data analytics report by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras on July 10, regarding NEET-UG 2024. The report conclusively ruled out any widespread malpractice or localized benefits among candidates that could lead to abnormal scores.

The affidavit highlighted that IIT-Madras was tasked with proposing methods to identify and segregate students suspected of using unfair means from the general pool of candidates. This move comes amidst concerns raised over the integrity of the national-level medical entrance exam.

 

Separately, the National Testing Agency (NTA), responsible for conducting NEET-UG, addressed allegations regarding perfect scores. Contrary to claims made by petitioners, the NTA clarified that only 61 candidates achieved a perfect score of 720 marks. Among these, six candidates were granted additional marks due to unforeseen circumstances at the Jhajjar Centre. Out of the 61, only 17 candidates attained the perfect score based on provisional answer keys, with the remaining benefiting from revisions in specific Physics answer keys.


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In response to concerns about the security and logistics of the examination, particularly allegations of question paper leaks via social media, the NTA refuted such claims. It declared a circulated video, supposedly indicating an early leak through a Telegram channel, as fabricated. The agency detailed that the video’s timestamp had been manipulated, and images were edited to create a misleading impression of a May 4 leak.

Highlighting the stringent security measures implemented during the exam, the NTA ensured that question paper movements were closely monitored in real time. Transportations were conducted under constant CCTV surveillance, and all footage was meticulously preserved. Any breach in security, including the time, place, and stage of occurrence, would be promptly recorded and reported.

Regarding the preparation of the exam questions, the NTA outlined a meticulous process involving 140 subject experts over several months. Experts were confined to restricted areas, and all work was sealed and returned daily. The process included the creation of multiple independent question papers, extensive feedback from experts, and meticulous printing and tracking procedures to ensure confidentiality.

 

The NTA further confirmed that no question papers were reported missing from exam centres in Patna and Hazaribagh, nor were any seals found broken. There were no indications of untoward incidents or paper leakages during the entire process.

In light of ongoing investigations by Bihar police, now overseen by the CBI, into suspicious candidates, the NTA reported minimal impact on the overall conduct of the exam. Initial findings suggested that the performance of these candidates ranged from moderate to below average. The results of 30 candidates flagged by the Godhra district administration and police have been withheld pending further inquiries and issuance of show-cause notices.


As discussions continue on future security measures, options being considered include transitioning from pen-and-paper (OMR) mode to computer-based testing to further enhance exam integrity.

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