NEET-UG 2024 counselling postponed till further notice amid paper leak controversy

Protest, NEET protest, UGC NET protest, NTA protest

Members of various student organisations protest against the NTA over alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG exam 2024, in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) counselling session has been postponed indefinitely till further notice.

Earlier, the National Testing Agency (NTA) had informed the Supreme Court that counselling would begin from July 6.

However, the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) is yet to release the detailed notification and schedule for NEET-UG counselling 2024.

The NTA, responsible for conducting entrance exams for MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses along with the Ministry of Education, has faced scrutiny in the media and protests from students and political groups.

Allegations of widespread malpractice, including question paper leak, have surfaced during the examination held on May 5.

The results were earlier expected to be declared on June 14 but were reportedly delayed to June 4 as evaluation of answer sheets was completed early.

The NEET UG counselling process comprises multiple rounds, including the number of vacancies and the mop-up round.

Eligible students will be required to register, pay the fees, select and confirm their preferences, upload the required documents and report to their designated institute.

For the 15 per cent All India Quota (AIQ), NEET UG counselling is for seats in government colleges, central and deemed universities, quota for children of insured persons (IP quota) in ESIC medical colleges, and seats in Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) Pune.

In the recent NTA exam, 67 students scored a record-breaking 720 marks, which is an unprecedented achievement.

It is noteworthy that these included six students from the Faridabad centre in Haryana, which raised concerns about possible irregularities.

Subsequently, 1,563 candidates who had secured grace marks in NEET-UG were directed to appear for the exam again but 750 of them did not appear for it.

The investigation into the alleged paper leak has been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), resulting in the arrest of six persons, including Aman Singh, identified as the main conspirator.

Recently, the Central Government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court opposing the proposed re-conduct of NEET-UG 2024.

The government cited insufficient comprehensive evidence of misconduct and argued that the action would unnecessarily disrupt the academic program.

The NTA further reinforced this point by submitting a separate affidavit to the Supreme Court on the same day. It argued against cancelling the exam, stating that it would be detrimental to the chances of deserving students. It admitted that though cases of malpractice were limited, strict action was already being taken.

first published: 06 July 2024 | 1:58 PM Is

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