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“Timestamp Was Manipulated”: Exam Body On “Fake” NEET Paper On Telegram

“Timestamp Was Manipulated”: Exam Body On “Fake” NEET Paper On Telegram


Around 24 lakh candidates appeared for the NEET-UG 2024 that was held on May 5.

New Delhi:

Amid a massive outrage over paper leak allegations surrounding the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-UG 2024 (NEET-UG), the National Testing Agency (NTA) has said a video on Telegram showing the purported leaked paper is “fake”.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the NTA, which conducts the NEET-UG, an all-India medical entrance exam, said that the screenshots regarding the paper leak in the video shared on Telegram were “fabricated”.

Around 24 lakh candidates appeared for the NEET examination that was held on May 5. The results, which were scheduled to be released on June 14, were declared on June 4 and were marred by leaked questions and the award of ‘grace marks’ for 1,563 students.

“The video in question allegedly shows a photo of the exam paper leaked on Telegram on May 4, but one image, which was edited, displays a timestamp of 17:40 PM on May 5, 2024. Additionally, discussions within the Telegram channel indicate that members indicated the video as fake,” the NTA said in its affidavit.

“Comments and discussions on social media further collaborate that the image in the video were edited, and the date was intentionally modified to suggest a May 4th leak. The screenshots highlight the fabric nature of the claims made in the video,” the exam body told the Supreme Court.

NTA On NEET-UG Paper Leak In Bihar

The NTA also told the Supreme Court that no NEET-UG question paper was found to be missing and no locks were broken in Bihar. The allegations of a paper leak had first emerged from Bihar’s capital Patna.

“No question paper was found missing in any Trunk. Each question paper has a unique serial number and was assigned to a particular candidate. No locks were found broken,” it said.

“The reports from NTA Observers did not report anything adverse. The CCTV coverage in the Command Centre was constantly monitored. No untoward incident or any pointer to paper leakage was observed,” the NTA said in its affidavit.

The CBI, which is investigating alleged irregularities in the exam, has so far arrested eight people in Bihar in the NEET-UG paper leak case.

Don’t Want NEET-UG Retest: Centre

The Centre on Wednesday also submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that a comprehensive analysis of the NEET-UG results revealed no large-scale malpractice or evidence of a local set of candidates benefiting.

It also reiterated its stance that it does not intend to hold a retest of the medical entrance exam as doing so on the basis of “unsubstantiated suspicions”, it said, would burden nearly 24 lakh students, who had appeared for the exam in May.

The Centre said it intends to start the counselling process for NEET-UG, which is the final stage for admissions, from the third week of July in four phases. If any candidate is found to have benefited from any irregularity, their counselling will be cancelled in any of the phases or even after, it said.

NEET-UG Paper Leak Row

The NEET-UG exam is held annually for admission to undergraduate medical courses. However, a controversy broke this year when the results were announced in June.

The first red flag was the unusually high number of perfect scores – a record 67 students –including six from one coaching centre, who scored a maximum of 720.

Questions were also asked over the award of ‘grace marks’ to 1,563 students.

A retest for those 1,563 students was held last week, but hundreds did not appear for the exam.

After the UG paper controversy, and the cancelling of the UGC-NET exam, for appointment to professorial posts in colleges and universities, the NEET-PG exam was cancelled.



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