The Supreme Court on July 8 put the matter concerning NEET-UG row for next hearing on July 11. The top court was hearing a clutch of petitioners demanding a re-test of the May 5 NEET-UG exam. 

The results of NEET-UG were released on June 4 and have been marred by leaked question papers and the award of grace marks, or preferential marking, for 1,563 students.

During the hearing on July 8, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said thar ordering a re-test for nearly 24 lakh students would be the last resort. Many of these aspirants , the CJI said, come from poor families and could ill-afford to spend money travelling to exam centres again, unless necessary.

Follow live updates on NEET UG 2024 here

The controversies surrounding the UGC-NET and NEET-UG, the two important national-level examinations, have triggered a political row with opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government

On June 19, the Union Education Ministry cancelled the University Grants Commission–National Eligibility Test (NET) after concerns were raised about the exam’s integrity. The cancellation came amid ongoing controversy over alleged irregularities in the medical entrance exam – NEET.

Both exams are conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The police in Bihar and Gujarat are investigating the alleged leak of the NEET-UG 2024 question paper.

Here is a timeline of events regarding the controversies:

July 08: The Supreme Court on July 8 put the matter concerning NEET-UG row for next hearing on July 11. The top court was hearing a clutch of petitioners demanding a re-test of the May 5 NEET-UG exam.

The top while saying that it was clear that leak of NEET-UG question paper has taken place, it wants to  know number of beneficiaries of question paper leak and what action has been taken against them.

June 27: In her address to the Parliament, President Droupadi Murmu said that the government is committed to a fair investigation of the recent incidents of paper leaks as well as stringent punishment for the guilty.

The CBI made its first arrests in connection with its probe into NEET-UG paper leak in Patna on June 27. Both arrested, Manish Kumar and Ashutosh Kumar are from Patna. They have been reportedly produced in court. The President added that stringent punishment would be meted out to the guilty.

Also Read | NEET-UG 2024 counselling expected to start by July end: Report

June 23: The CBI filed its first information report (FIR) regarding irregularities in the NEET-UG exam, following a complaint from the education ministry.

June 22: Centre replaced the director general of NTA Subodh Kumar Singh amid the NEET, UGC-NET row. The government appointed 985 batch Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer Pradeep Singh Kharola as the Agency’s new chief.

June 22: Union Education Ministry constituted a high-level committee of experts headed by a former chief of the ISRO to ensure transparent, smooth and fair conduct of examinations through NTA.

June 22: The Union government postponed NEET PG 2024, supposed to be held on June 23 for admission to postgraduate medical courses.

Also Read | Mint Primer | NEET-UG fiasco: How to avoid trouble, going ahead

June 21: Supreme Court once again declined to stay the process of NEET-UG 2024 counselling. The apex court has issued a notice to the National Testing Agency (NTA). The top court tagged the fresh pleas along with pending petitions and posted them for hearing on July 8.

June 21: The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024, which aims to curb unfair practices during public examinations and common entrance tests nationwide, came into effect on June 21.

June 20: The Union government announced the formation of a high-level committee to provide recommendations for enhancing the structure, processes, data management, and security protocols of the NTA. The committee will comprise technocrats, scientists, educational administrators, academics, and psychologists.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a First Information Report (FIR) into the UGC-NET paper leak case on June 20 against unidentified persons on a reference from the Union Education Ministry, officials said.

Also Read | NEET-UG paper leak: CBI arrests key-conspirator Aman Singh from Dhanbad

June 20: Anurag Yadav, a 22-year-old NEET UG 2024 aspirant, arrested by Bihar police after confessing that the leaked question paper he received matched the actual exam question paper. The arrest came as part of a larger investigation, which also saw four men from Bihar detained for allegedly accessing the exam paper a day before the test.

June 20:Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that PM is more concerned about Speaker’s election. The same day Bihar’s deputy chief minister Vijay Kumar Sinha claimed the arrested prime accused in the NEET “paper leak” is linked to officials associated with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.

Also Read | NEET-UG 2024: Counselling delayed amid paper leak row; new date awaited

June 19: The Union Education Ministry on June 19 cancelled the University Grants Commission–National Eligibility Test (NET) after concerns were raised about the exam’s integrity. TheUGC-NET2024 was conducted on June 18 across 317 cities. The government also ordered a CBI probe into the UGC-NET exam.

June 18:The Supreme Court issued a notice to the NTA, seeking a response to the pleas in connection with the alleged paper leaks and malpractices in NEET-UG 2024. The top court said even a little negligence in NEET-UG 2024 should be thoroughly dealt with. “If there is 0.001% negligence on the part of anyone, it should be thoroughly dealt with. Children have prepared for the exams. We cannot forget their labour,” the Supreme Court said.

June 15:ABVP delegation lead by National Secretaries Shivangi Kharwal, Virendra Solanki and others submit a memorandum to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan regarding the NEET- UG exam issue and the resulting student distress.

June 13: The uproar over NEET UG results reached the Supreme Court with multiple petitions seeking cancellation of exams. In the first hearing, the SC sought for NTA’s response.

The SC refused to stay NEET UG Counselling process. The top Court was informed that the Centre has decided to revoke the grace marks awarded to 1,563 students in the NEET-UG 2024exam. The government said then that if the affected students decided to appear for the re-exam, it will be held on June 23. The result for those students will be declared before June 30 and the counselling will take place from July 6 onwards.

Also Read | Centre approaches SC amid NEET-UG row, counters calls for re-examination

June 4:NTA declared the NEET UG 2024 results on June 4, the day of counting of votes for Lok Sabha Elections 2024. Soon after the results were out, students and parents took to streets to protest the unusual results and the awarding of grace marks to around 1500 students. Students began to demand a retest and re-evaluation of all marks after it was found that 67 students had topped the exam.

May 5, 2024: The NTA conducted the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) on May 5. The NEET exam was conducted for 24 lakh students at 4,750 centres across 571 cities outside India. There were allegations of paper leaks across centres during the exam, a charge dismissed by the NTA and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

The NTA and Centre clarified that the question papers for Hindi and English medium were mixed at six centres. However, the government said, was rectified and students were given extra time to complete the NEET exam

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