In Affidavit To SC, Centre Opposes NEET-UG Cancellation, Defends Exam Integrity

New Delhi: The Centre on Friday filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court opposing the cancellation of the NEET-UG 2024 exam, citing the potential disruption to the lives of lakhs of honest students. The affidavit argues that scrapping the exam in the absence of widespread cheating is not justified.

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) for undergraduate medical programs, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), was marred by controversy in 2024. Allegations of question paper leaks in some states and the awarding of grace marks to over 1,500 students sparked protests and demands for a re-test. The grace marks were subsequently withdrawn, and a re-test was conducted for affected students.

In its affidavit, the Centre noted that the CBI is thoroughly investigating the alleged irregularities and affirmed its commitment to fair and transparent examinations. It also highlighted the existing Public Examination (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, which imposes strict penalties for exam-related offences.

“The government is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of exams and safeguarding students’ interests,” the affidavit added.

A Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, is set to hear petitions seeking a re-test on July 8.

The government also mentioned that the Ministry of Education has formed an expert committee, chaired by former ISRO chairperson Dr. K Radhakrishnan, to suggest measures for conducting transparent and fair exams. The committee will review and recommend improvements in exam processes, data security, and the structure and functioning of the NTA.

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