“My daughter has been inconsolable”: NEET-UG 2024 results shock top rankers as scores soar & ranks plunge

This year, a whopping 67 students secured a perfect 720 score, all ranking at number one. This means, even with a perfect score, not all these AIR 1 holders will gain admission to AIIMS, Delhi
“My daughter has been inconsolable”: NEET-UG 2024 results shock top rankers as scores soar & ranks plunge
EdexLive

Despite being the district topper in Class X and achieving 94.5% in Class XII, Ridhima Rao, who scored 648 in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test - Undergraduate (NEET-UG), will not secure a seat in a government medical college this year, ranking 31,023. She is among many medical aspirants facing this unexpected predicament due to unusually inflated ranks and allegations of severe discrepancies and paper leaks in NEET-UG 2024.

"My daughter has been inconsolable since the release of the results. This was not expected at all. We are all in shock," says Dr Raj Shekhar Yadav, Ridhima's father and the State Convenor of the United Private Clinics and Hospitals Association of Rajasthan (UPCHAR).

"When we calculated her score, we were told 648 was a safe score based on previous year's cut-offs. However, what has happened is extremely disillusioning," Dr Yadav adds. Last year, a score of 648 would have meant that she would have bagged AIR 7200, and in 2022, AIR 4000. This year, a whopping 67 students secured a perfect 720 score, all ranking at number one. This means that even with a perfect score, not all these AIR 1 holders will gain admission to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, whose general category cut-off in 2023 closed at rank 57. "How will they distribute the seats? AIIMS has only 100 seats!" remarked Dr Arun Kumar of the United Doctors Front Association (UDFA).

"A student with a score of 700, just 20 marks below the perfect score, has a rank of around 3000. What a joke this is!" exclaims Gaurav Tyagi, a medical education counsellor and NEET expert. "And someone who scored 570 is not even eligible for a low-key private college."

Comparison of the scores versus ranks in the last three years
Comparison of the scores versus ranks in the last three years

So what happened this year? How did the competition inflate over 300% and what does this mean for aspirants? 

Ever since the National Testing Agency (NTA) released the NEET-UG 2024 scores on June 4, numerous discrepancies have been pointed out in addition to the inflated ranks. 

Aspirants, experts, and even the general public have been expressing their shock and frustration with the results, which were published ten days ahead of the scheduled date of June 14. Interestingly, June 4 also coincided with the Lok Sabha 2024 election results, raising quite a few eyebrows.

“Such premature publishing of results raises concern. There is no government formed yet, and we cannot even raise these issues. Plus, with the media busy with the election, this was the perfect opportunity for NTA to release the results and hide their misdeeds. Otherwise, who releases 10 days before the schedule? Ten days,” alleges Dr Yadav.

People have taken to social media to express their concern over alleged irregularities. Among the 67 students who secured AIR 1, people have pointed out that eight students in a row have the same centre code. Additionally, AIR 68 and 69 have scored 719 and 718, respectively, which many noted is not possible since each question is worth 4 marks.

In response to these concerns, the NTA clarified in a statement that due to court cases raising issues of lost time during the exam, they have compensated such candidates with grace marks. The NTA stated, “So, candidates' marks can be 718 or 719 also.”

However, it is worth noting that initially, the NTA had published the list of the top 100 candidates with their scores but removed it after concerns were raised and republished it without the scores. “All these irregularities and the haste with which the results were published suggest gross misconduct. Something is fishy for sure,” says Tyagi.

Echoing his words, Dr Aviral Mathur, the President of the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “The recent #NEET_UG fiasco has left us all puzzled. Weird results. Weirder methodology and execution by @NTA_Exams Students getting into this noble profession with such a bad taste! Horrible! Requesting @mansukhmandviya ji to take cognisance.”

These discrepancies further support reports of paper leaks in Patna and Gujarat, where police were involved and arrests were made. Several pleas have also been filed in the Supreme Court by students demanding a repeat NEET exam due to the alleged leak. One of the petitions was filed on June 1. “I believe that the results were declared so soon by NTA to hide their failures regarding the paper leak,” claims Dr Arun Kumar.

As of now, people believe more transparency is imperative from the NTA. They are also demanding that the agency take responsibility for the chaos that has unfurled owing to the results.  “We need more details. They need to tell us how many marks were given and to whom, especially the grace marks. We need more information,” says Dr Yadav, concluding, “Thousands of students and parents are coming together on one platform for a possible legal battle and if need be, protests. We are not ready to give up on the efforts that have been put in for years.” 

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