What’s behind the calls for an independent probe into conduct of NEET 2024? | In Focus podcast

Anita Rampal and Dr G R Ravindranath speak to us about the various problems with NEET 2024, and how we can ensure transparency and accountability in the functioning of NTA.

Updated - June 15, 2024 12:50 pm IST

Published - June 15, 2024 12:38 pm IST

The results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2024 have sparked a major controversy. Students and experts have flagged plenty of irregularities. Petitions were filed in the Supreme Court over the award of grace marks to more than 1,563 students by the National Testing Agency (NTA), the body that conducts the exam.

A concerned Supreme Court observed that the sanctity of the exam had been affected. The NTA informed the Court that the grace marks given to the 1.563 students would be cancelled and they would be given an option to take a retest, which would be held on June 23, with results declared on June 30. However, grace marks were not the only irregularity. For the first time in the history of NEET, 67 candidates topped with the maximum possible score, with eight of them from one centre, whereas there has never been a year where more than 3 students have scored maximum marks. There were also reports of question paper leaks, torn OMR sheets, and question papers in the wrong language being distributed.

Even if we set aside NEET 2024as an aberration, experts have flagged systemic problems with NEET itself as a mode of selection. For instance, the Justice AK Rajan Committee, set up by The Tamil Nadu government to study the impact of NEET, had concluded in its report that NEET was anti-poor, anti-social justice and favoured students from affluent families, students from urban centres, and students who could afford to spend lakhs on coaching centres.

So, what are the various problems with NEET 2024? Is an independent probe required? How do we ensure transparency and accountability in the functioning of NTA? Why are states like Tamil Nadu seeking an exemption from NEET?

Guests: Professor Anita Rampal, former Dean, Faculty of Education, at Delhi University, and Dr G R Ravindranath, general secretary of the Doctor’s Association for Social quality, who also a Member of the Justice AK Rajan Committee constituted by the Tamil Nadu government to study the impact of NEET.

Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.

Edited by Sharmada Venkatasubramanian.

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