‘Two correct options for one question’; candidate challenges legality in SC | Education News


The Supreme Court vacation bench issued notice on Thursday in a plea that raised the allegation that one of the questions in the NEET-UG 2024 exam that took place on May 5 was “ambiguous” as it had two correct options. 

The vacation bench comprised two judges – Justices Vikram Nath and SVN Bhatti – who heard the plea by the NEET-UG candidate (through his mother). The petitioner challenges the “ambiguous question” that NTA framed in the NEET exam creating inconsistency between the instructions given by the examination question booklet and the NTA answer key released on May 30.

The petitioner stated that he left the question unattempted to avoid a negative marking and loss of rank as the question contained two correct options against the NTA’s instructions to have only one correct option mentioned in the question booklet. The petition demanded that the court issue directions to the National Testing Agency to re-publish the NEET UG 2024 results, ranks and percentile based on the revised marks.

According to the petitioner, Question No. 19 in the Test Booklet Code S3 was identified as having two correct answers (options 2 and 4). However, the instructions on the booklet say that there is only one correct option for a question. Consequently, to avoid the risk of negative marking, the petitioner chose not to answer the question and opt to forgo potential marks rather than lose them due to ‘ambiguity.’

NTA answer key marks both options correct

NTA’s answer key recognised both options 2 and 4 as correct, giving an unfair advantage to candidates who either guessed the answer or arbitrarily picked one of the options. The petitioner said this violated the instructions provided in the exam booklet and did injustice to candidates who have meticulously followed the guidelines. 

According to him, it is a violation of fundamental rights under Articles 14 (Right to Equality), 15 (Prohibition of Discrimination), and 19(1)(a) (Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression) of the Indian Constitution. The petition sought corrective measures, demanding NTA to correct and re-publish the NEET (UG) 2024 results, ranks, and percentiles as per revised marks. During the court proceedings, the petitioner urged for an immediate hearing before the counselling session began. 

SC to hear the matter in July

The court posted the matter for July 8, 2024, emphasising that any decision would be contingent upon the resolution of these petitions. The court will address these irregularities in the NEET-UG examination, acknowledging that candidates put effort into this prestigious examination.

Multiple petitions are pending in the Supreme Court challenging different aspects of the NEET-UG 2024 examination including question ambiguity, paper leaks, and discrepancies while awarding grace marks. The court’s proactive stance reflects to ensure fairness and transparency in conducting national-level entrance examinations like NEET-UG.

First Published: Jun 21 2024 | 3:24 PM IST

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