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India’s Future Doctors in Crisis: NEET 2024 Result Marred by Allegations of Fraud, Leaked Papers, and Skyrocketing Scores. How the National Testing Agency’s Failures Have Led to Student Protests, Suicides, and a Crisis of Confidence in the System?

Outrage Erupts Nationwide: NEET 2024 Results Trigger Massive Protests as Students and Teachers Allege Widespread Fraud, Paper Leaks, and Manipulation by National Testing Agency.

On June 4, when the whole country was busy watching the results of the Lok Sabha elections, the NEET 2024 results, which decide medical students’ future, were also declared. After seeing the results, students and teachers started protesting against the National Testing Agency (NTA) since the announcement of the NEET 2024 results on Tuesday. 

NEET UG is an exam every year for admission to medical colleges. Through this exam, students enroll in MBBS, BDS-like courses. After seeing the result, the students were making allegations that a scam was happening at a very high level. National Testing Agency, i.e. NTA conducted it, and many big allegations like fraud and paper leaks were being made against them. Students raised many questions at every exam stage, from registering to conducting the exam and giving markings.

India’s future doctors are angry with India. They are asking the SC for justice. Because this year, NEET exams were not conducted properly. Allegedly, papers were leaked, and the results were quite shocking.

Problem No. 1

The paper was leaked. Bihar police caught 13 people and their families for leaking the paper.

Problem No. 2

Usually, only 1 or 2 students get full marks. This time, 67 students got full marks. Many of them had the same exam centre.

Problem No. 3

After the results, some students have committed suicide. All these problems raise a question.

In our country, becoming a doctor is the dream of middle-class students. For this, parents spend lakhs of rupees; children prepare for years to sacrifice some years of their lives. After this, if news of such rigging starts coming in the exam itself and your dream seems shattered, someone will have to take accountability for it. By dropping a year, children were not celebrating their birthdays by making so many sacrifices; they were not celebrating anything. Children are working hard for a whole year by renouncing everything. 

The politicians are busy in the elections, counting their seats, and the students are shouting in the comment section of every user, but no one is listening to them. Not a single person is ready to talk about this.

Does India country care about its future?

On May 5, NEET exams were conducted in 4750 centres. 24 lakh students who sat for NEET-UG exams were competing for 109000 seats in 695 medical colleges, with the hope that there will be a fair examination. There are 55000 seats in government colleges and 50000 in private ones. Anyway, these private ones charge lakhs of crores of rupees, so if you see the total, 20 lakh children compete for 55000 seats. 

The children leave their city, home, family, friends, and friends to prepare for four to five years and spend lakhs of rupees in big coaching institutes in different cities. After spending so much hard work and money, what would you say if you give full marks on the exam and get a result but still do not get admitted to a top college? The same situation will arise with some students in NEET 2024. 

But let’s start the discussion a little earlier, and it is about February 9, 2024. National Testing Agency, i.e., NTA, started the Registration for NEET 2024. This Registration was to close on March 9, but its date was extended to March 16. It is usually done every time. Every year, the registrations close on March 16, but next month, on April 9, i.e., 24 days after the closure of registrations, NTA again opens them for two days, giving the reason that there was a demand from the NTA stakeholders that Registration should be opened again for two days. 

It has happened before that NTA extended the date of Registration, but it has never happened that it has been done after a gap of 24 days. Hence, this seems a bit strange to the students and teachers. It felt like that, but still, the children kept on preparing, but there was a doubt in the whole story, which started from here and one day before the exam. 

NTA said that the allegations of the paper leak are baseless, and the media is unnecessarily hyping it. There are telegram groups where people sell question papers before the exams. It’s not just about Bihar. Similar problems were found.

If you also think that there is a need for change in our education system. Let’s get to the root of these problems.

No.1 Paper leak.

The first problem is the paper leak.

On Twitter, there were 520 mentions, suggesting that some students might have accessed the paper early, around 4:00 PM, 1 hour and 20 minutes before the exam ended. It caused concern among students who feared their exams might be cancelled. The NTA later confirmed that an incident in Sawai Madhopur involved students leaving the exam centre with question papers despite teachers’ efforts. 

However, details of how and when this happened were not provided. The NTA arranged a re-exam for the 120 affected students on the same day. Other similar incidents and allegations also surfaced.

In Gujarat and Odisha.

In Gujarat, a school teacher took Rs.10 lakh from each candidate and helped them to solve the paper. Police seized Rs. 7 lakhs from a teacher who had received it in advance. Meanwhile, a video went viral on social media where a man wearing a Batman mask said that politicians get papers in crores. He said, I’ll give you the documents for Rs. 5 lakhs.

Paper leaks have become quite common in India. Let’s talk about last year. 

In Telangana, a Hindi SSC exam paper was leaked and circulated on WhatsApp.

Similarly, a paper of an Assistant Engineer Recruitment Examination of the Telangana State Public Service Commission was leaked. Due to this, exams had to be cancelled. Exams of English and General Science had to be cancelled in Assam because the papers were leaked.

In Maharashtra, the Maths paper for the HSC exams was leaked. A police investigation revealed that the college had leaked a Chemistry and Physics question paper. Every year, there are many such incidents around us, and these things get caught. 

The NTA stated that the viral photo and video are not of the actual exam paper. They conducted the exam properly and accounted for all the question papers. There was an incident in Rajasthan where some students ran out of the question papers before the exam ended, but this should not be linked to the paper leak news. 

Additionally, another incident occurred in Bihar on May 5. The Economic Offences Unit of the Bihar Police Department arrested 13 people in the paper leak case in Patna. A raid was conducted in the Learn and Play Hostel of Patna, where some question papers and documents were found, but the papers these people found were either burnt, or an attempt was made to destroy them by getting them wet. Hence, out of those papers, the police got three copies of only 74 questions for identification. 

The police take these people in remand, and then it comes to know that these people have written NEET. 

35 aspirants had all the answers memorised a day before the paper, i.e., May 4. The investigation also revealed that the students who had received the question papers a day before had paid between Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh to the brokers.  The source in which these things are written was published on May 12. That is, by then, this news had become public. Some NEET students had also learned about it, but it remained completely missing from the national media. 

This is because most people focused only on the elections then. Despite knowing all this, NEET students started waiting for the result to be declared on June 14, but NTA announced this on June 4, 10 days before the schedule. The results have been released. If you see the results of most of the exams in the country, they are declared. Hence, the students were also shocked that, How can these results come before time?

Students allege that NTA deliberately released the results on the same day as the Lok Sabha elections. There was the counting of elections, and the entire media was busy covering it, so no one paid much attention to this result.

Think about how many such instances don’t get caught. In today’s time, despite having so much security every year, some or other papers have been leaked. How is this possible?

Who is responsible for this?

Problem number 2 is a high cut-off list

A video of Physics Wallah was released, where he said that students were given two papers in a centre in Haryana. And confusion began

A lot of time was wasted. 

Later, they were told which paper was the right one.

And then, they were told to solve the paper. In a center in Rajasthan, Hindi medium students were given an English paper

In Chhattisgarh, after 45 minutes, it was found that students were given the wrong paper. Students’ time was wasted. That is, the way the examination was conducted. There were problems with that, too. And in the result declaration, too. The result was declared on June 4, 10 days before the actual date. The whole media was busy covering the election results on the same day.

And how was the result? 67 students got full marks.

That is 720 out of 720.

Now you will think that if so many students get full marks, then it is a good thing.

But let’s see the record.

  • In 2019, the top score was 701 out of 720
  • In 2020, 2 students got full marks
  • In 2021, 3 students scored full marks
  • In 2022, 4 students secured the top score of 715
  • And in 2023, 2 students got 720 out of 720
  • But in 2024, suddenly, 67.

Is this a coincidence, or do you even find this problematic?

Moreover, 2 candidates got 719 and 718 marks.

This is a little weird.

Why?

The maximum possible mark in the exam is 720.

The total questions are 180. For every correct answer, you get 4 marks. And for every wrong answer, you get 1 negative mark. Let’s assume that one question was not attempted at all. Then 4 marks less, that is, 716 marks, should be the final score, and if one question is wrong, then 715 marks should be the score. So how can 2 students get

719 and 718 marks?

NTA explains that because of the loss of time during the exam, students were given grace marks for that. That is why some students can get 718 and 719 marks. This happened with the help of a normalisation formula, which our Supreme Court makes.

But here, the Physics Wallah asked a question.

If the problem is on time, the solution should be on time. The children whose time was wasted should be given extra time.

So that they can solve the problem.

By giving grace marks, new problems can be created. It would be unfair on other students.

NTA explains that about 20 lakh students were sitting for the exam last year. And this year 23 lakh students. Due to the competitive nature of the exam, the cut-off was very high.

Alakh Pandey, thus, for the sake of his students, would file a PIL in the Supreme Court, which would help seek detailed information from the NTA and call for corrective measures before the counselling phase.

Alakh Pandey had served a legal notice to NTA, and all the points have been highlighted in the notice, but NTA has yet to respond. But what do you think? Does having more 3 lakh students this time justify such a huge margin?

Many of the toppers were from the same exam centres. Is this just a coincidence?

And problem number 3

The most important problem is the impact on children. How much is the exam pressure in India?

In this entire exam, from paper leaks to time loss,

grace marks, and even the result declaration, there were many problems. Due to this chaos, some of the students even committed suicide. This is a sad reality of India. 

In a country where there is no value of merit and talent, such a country can never progress. Why would people study if they could buy a question paper on telegram with money?

Why will people take exams when fake certificates can be made to get reservations?These are the core problems of the country.

If we don’t address them now, why would any youth want to live in this country?

Why would anyone think of making the country better by living here?

Youth will also shift to foreign countries at the first opportunity. Where the air is good, the lifestyle is good, and education is free.

Because here the one who works hard in India studies with dignity and honesty, and take the exam without cheating; there is no place in the system for them.

Viewpoint

This message goes to the youth of India from this entire incident. If you can’t conduct the exam properly, then don’t take the exam. Postpone, change, do anything. Learn to accept your mistakes first.

What do you think?

What should be the solution to this whole matter?

Should the exams be conducted again?

Should the grace marks be cancelled?

OR

There will be an outrage about this in just two days.

Some people will share the video on Twitter for a few days. Then everyone will forget everything.

And next year, this whole thing will repeat!

No one will be suspended, no one will be punished, and no one will take any responsibility.

Everyone will move on.

This is a matter to think about. If you look at AIIMS Delhi, it is the top government college in the country. Last year, people up to 57th rank got admission to it. This year, 67 students are sitting on rank one with full marks, so what is the rank now?

Even one student will not be able to get into the country’s top college, which means it is a joke. Is it all here in NTAT that 67 students have full marks, but only one student will get ranked one because they use a tie-breaker policy but still think? 

If you are not getting a top college even after getting full marks, what kind of joke is going on, and how will the colleges decide who among those who have got full marks they want to give admission and who else they do not give? If you wish to, then if you look carefully at this entire exam, there have been reports of exam leaks, arrests have been made, there has been a mathematical issue in the total marks of people in Bihar, and without transparency, people have been given grace marks ten days from the result date. 

It was announced on the day of counting the first Lok Sabha that the full marks of 67 students were declared, out of which six were from one exam centre. After so many shocking coincidences in any exam, how will students have trust in it? These are the things that millions of students are saying on social media. 

They are telling by writing mail in the post’s comments, and NTA cannot give any concrete answer regarding this nor with full transparency. The cost of convincing these people to the students and teachers will be high because this exam is normal. No, doctors of the country are selected through this exam.

People’s lives are in their hands. This has become a life-and-death situation, and there are many students whose dream of becoming a doctor will not be fulfilled because of this result. Whose years of hard work and money have been wasted in just one stroke. 

Sehjal
Sehjal
Sehjal is a writer at Inventiva , where she covers investigative news analysis and market news.
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