Opposition Attacks Government Over NEET Controversy: Who Said What

Opposition leaders have targeted the BJP-led central government over the massive row surrounding the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) which has triggered protests by aspirants across the country.

NSUI protest over NEET 2024 results
Protest over NEET 2024 results | Photo: PTI

Opposition leaders have targeted the central government over the massive row surrounding the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). The controversy has triggered protests by aspirants across the country.

The NEET exam, held on May 5, was taken by 24 lakh students. Results for the medical entrance examination were declared on June 4, when the country was busy with the results of Lok Sabha Elections. However, allegations of paper leaks have surfaced, and an unusually high number of students - 67 - scored the perfect score of 720/720.

The cut-off has gone up exponentially, leaving many students worried about securing a medical college seat.Protesting students allege that the award of grace marks to several students to compensate for lost time at the exam centre is responsible for the inflated marks.

The matter is currently before the Supreme Court.The central government has told the court that it had cancelled the grace marks given to 1,563 candidates. Here’s how the opposition reacted.

Tamil Nadu Government Slams BJP-led Govt For Being 'Spectator'

Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK on Saturday accused the National Testing Agency of spoiling the sanctity of NEET and blamed the BJP-led government at the Centre for being a 'spectator' and backing coaching centres that earned in crores. Yet again, the DMK sought scrapping the national test, saying it alone would protect the sanctity of education sector. 

Referring to the Centre telling the Supreme Court days ago that the grace marks of 1,563 students would be cancelled, DMK's Tamil mouthpiece 'Murasoli' said the BJP government would not have done this if the matter had not been taken to the apex court. Over the years, several irregularities have been happening in NEET and the BJP government did not take note of it, the daily in an editorial on June 15 alleged.

Delhi Minister Appeals To Support Students' Demands

Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Sunday raised concern over "irregularities" in the NEET-UG examination and appealed to the public to come in support of the students demanding re-examination.

In a video message circulated by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharadwaj said, "This is a very serious issue concerning our 24 lakh children who prepared for year long and appeared for the MBBS examination with the hope of becoming doctors." 

 "Today, news is coming from all over that corruption was found on a large scale in this examination. These students who used to study 18 hours in a day to become a doctor are heartbroken. They are asking for a small thing to re-conduct the examination. Can the Centre not agree to this small demand?" he asked.

Kapil Sibal Demands Probe By SC-Appointed Officials

Former HRD minister Kapil Sibal on Sunday demanded a probe by Supreme Court-appointed officials into allegations of irregularities and called on the government to have a thorough consultation with all states as to how this examination is to be held in future.

In an interview with PTI, the Rajya Sabha MP hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, saying if the testing system in any examination becomes corrupt then it is "not really neat for the PM to remain silent".

Sibal urged all political parties to raise the matter strongly in the upcoming session of Parliament but was not optimistic about it being taken up for discussion, predicting that the government will not allow it citing that the matter is sub-judice.

"The present National Testing Agency (NTA) has really bungled and corruption has been brought to light on media platforms, such as providing solutions for question papers for something like becoming a doctor," Sibal said.

(With inputs from PTI)