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SC Seeks NTA response on Plea for Fresh NEET-UG amid ‘paper leak’, ‘malpractice’ Allegations

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court sought a response from the National Testing Agency (NTA) regarding a plea calling for a fresh conduct of the NEET-UG 2024 examination due to allegations of a question paper leak and other malpractices. The plea, filed by Shivangi Mishra and others, brings forth serious concerns about the integrity of the medical entrance exam, which is crucial for admissions to MBBS, BDS, and other related courses.

Despite these allegations, a vacation bench comprising Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah refused to halt the ongoing counseling process for successful candidates. This decision means that the admissions process for MBBS, BDS, and other courses will continue as planned, unaffected by the current legal proceedings.

The NEET-UG 2024 exam was conducted on May 5, and the results were declared on June 4, earlier than the initially expected date of June 14. Conducted by the NTA, NEET-UG is a national-level examination for admissions into medical and dental courses across both government and private institutions in India.

The plea alleges significant malpractices, including question paper leaks, which purportedly provided some candidates with an unfair advantage. Such allegations, if proven true, would be a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, which ensures the right to equality. The petitioners argue that the integrity of the exam has been compromised, undermining the fairness expected in such a crucial competitive examination.

In response to these allegations, the Supreme Court has tagged this plea with an already pending one and has asked the NTA to file its response in the meantime. This step indicates the seriousness with which the court is viewing these allegations and its intention to ensure a thorough examination of the claims.

The NTA, responsible for conducting NEET-UG, now faces the challenge of addressing these allegations and restoring confidence in the examination process. Ensuring the credibility of NEET-UG is crucial, as it affects the future of thousands of aspiring medical students across the country.

The ongoing legal proceedings and the Supreme Court’s involvement highlight the critical nature of maintaining fairness and transparency in competitive exams. The outcome of this case will have significant implications for future conduct and regulatory oversight of such examinations.

In conclusion, while the counseling process for NEET-UG 2024 continues, the allegations of malpractice remain under judicial scrutiny. The Supreme Court’s directive to the NTA to respond to these claims is a pivotal step in addressing the concerns raised and ensuring the integrity of one of India’s most important entrance exams.

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