The Center told the Supreme Court that cancelling NEET-UG is not logical, it will affect the interests of honest students

New Delhi. The Center told the Supreme Court on Friday that cancelling the controversy-ridden NEET-UG, 2024 exam would not be a rational step and would pose a “serious threat” to the future of lakhs of honest students who appeared in the exam. The National Examination Agency (NTA) conducts NEET-UG for admission to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions. The exam was held on May 5 this year, in which about 23 lakh candidates appeared at 4,750 examination centers in 571 cities.

Allegations of irregularities, including question paper leaks, led to protests in several cities and opposition parties raised the issue. Several cases were also filed in the courts in this regard. On various petitions seeking cancellation of the controversial NEET exam, re-examination and a court-monitored investigation, the Union Education Ministry said that there was no evidence of any large-scale breach of confidentiality in the exam.

In its initial affidavit filed by a director of the Ministry of Education, the Centre said, “It is also argued that in the absence of any evidence of large-scale breach of confidentiality in the all-India examination, it would not be logical to cancel the entire examination and the results already declared.” The affidavit said that in any examination, there are competitive rights so that the interests of such students who do not adopt any unfair means in the examination are not harmed. It said, cancelling the examination completely will cause serious harm to lakhs of honest candidates appearing for the examination in 2024.

The affidavit said that the Centre is committed to protect the interests of lakhs of students who have appeared in the exams after years of hard work without trying to gain any illegal advantage. “Therefore, genuine concerns based on proven facts should be addressed, while other petitions based on mere conjecture without any facts should be rejected, so that honest candidates and their families are not made to suffer unnecessarily,” it said.

In response to various petitions filed by National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024 candidates, coaching institutes and parents, the Ministry of Education said that some alleged cases of irregularities, fraud and malpractice have come to light and the government has asked the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the alleged irregularities. According to the affidavit, the CBI has taken over the cases registered in various states and is investigating them. It said that the Ministry of Education has constituted a high-level committee of experts to suggest effective measures for conducting transparent, smooth and fair examination by NTA.

It said, “The government is committed to ensure the purity of examinations and protect the interests of students. To ensure transparency, fairness and credibility in public examinations, Parliament has enacted the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024 on February 12, 2024.” The affidavit said that this law came into force on June 21, 2024.

The Supreme Court will hear on July 8 various petitions alleging irregularities in the examination held on May 5 and petitions seeking a fresh examination. Protests have been held in several cities amid allegations of various irregularities, including paper leaks. There has also been a war of words between rival political parties over the issue.

Disclaimer: CricketInFocus has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.

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