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NEET-UG Grace Marks Under Scrutiny: Education Ministry Sets Up Review Panel

The education ministry has initiated a review of the grace marks awarded to over 1,500 candidates in the NEET-UG medical entrance exam, according to an announcement by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on Saturday. A four-member panel has been established to undertake this review, reflecting concerns over the potential inflation of scores.

This action was prompted by allegations that the grace marks had contributed to an unusually high number of candidates—67 in total—achieving the first rank in the exam. Such a scenario has raised questions about the fairness and integrity of the scoring process.

The review panel, chaired by a former UPSC chairman, is tasked with examining the circumstances under which the grace marks were awarded. NTA Director General Subodh Kumar Singh informed that the panel is expected to submit its recommendations within a week, which could lead to a revision of the results for the affected candidates.

Despite these developments, Singh assured that the awarding of grace marks had not altered the qualifying criteria for the exam. He emphasized that any potential revisions in the results would not impact the ongoing admission process for medical colleges.

The allegations of inflated marks have stirred considerable concern among NEET aspirants, especially given the unusual occurrence of 67 top rankers. Notably, six of these top scorers emerged from the same examination center, adding to the suspicion of irregularities.

In response to these concerns, the NTA has maintained that there were no irregularities in the examination process. The agency attributed the higher scores to changes in the NCERT textbooks and the awarding of grace marks to compensate for time lost at certain examination centers.

While the NTA’s explanation seeks to clarify the situation, the review by the newly formed panel aims to ensure transparency and fairness in the examination process. The findings and recommendations of the panel will be closely watched by all stakeholders involved in the NEET-UG exam.

The education ministry’s proactive approach in setting up this panel underscores the importance of maintaining the credibility of the NEET-UG exam, which is a crucial gateway for medical aspirants across India.

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