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Supreme Court Cancels Grace Marks for NEET UG Candidates, Orders Retest for 1563 Students

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The Supreme Court has made a significant decision in response to the ongoing controversy surrounding the NEET-UG examination process. The court recorded that the score cards of 1,563 candidates granted compensatory marks in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET-UG) will be nullified. These candidates will now have the option to participate in a retest, which is expected to take place on June 23.

The Union Government revealed these developments during a session presided over by a Vacation Bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta. The candidates who were awarded compensatory marks will be informed of their actual scores without the additional marks. Those choosing to forgo the retest will have their original scores without the grace marks considered final.

Challenges to the award of grace marks to the 1,563 candidates brought the issue before the court. The National Testing Agency (NTA) had earlier formed a committee to review the situation, leading to the decision for a retest. The compensatory marks were initially granted due to alleged time constraints faced by the candidates during the exam.

Representing the Union, Kanu Agrawal explained that the committee concluded that the grant of grace marks to the candidates had resulted in an imbalance. The re-examination will provide a fair chance for these candidates to demonstrate their abilities without the influence of compensatory marks.

A senior advocate representing the NTA, Naresh Kaushik, informed the court that the re-test date would be shared with the candidates on June 13. The re-examination is scheduled to be conducted on June 23, with results expected to be announced by June 30. Notably, the counselling sessions for admissions are set to proceed as planned on July 6 to ensure minimal disruption.

The pleas regarding the issue of grace marks were resolved during the session. The court further directed the NTA to respond to concerns raised about question paper leaks and related matters within two weeks. Another petition regarding the matter, filed by 10 candidates, has been scheduled for a hearing on July 8.

Among the petitioners challenging the NTA’s decision were participants from various backgrounds, including online education platform Physics Wallah, whose CEO Alakh Pandey questioned the arbitrariness of the grace marks allocation. The Supreme Court’s rulings aim to uphold the integrity and fairness of the NEET-UG examination process.

Rachel Adams

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