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'Faulty' NEET 2024 physics question made 44 students topper: Explained

NEET-UG 2024 exam controversy: Nationwide protests occurred after the NEET exam results declared an unprecedented 67 candidates as toppers because of grace marks given by the NTA

NEET UG 2024

Junior doctors under banner of Trinamool Congress Medical Cell participate in a protest against alleged irregularities in NEET-UG 2024 results, in Kolkata, June. 11, 2024. (PTI)

Nisha Anand New Delhi

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The Centre will withdraw the grace marks awarded to more than 1,500 candidates in the NEET-UG 2024 examination result, it told the Supreme Court on Thursday. Those students will be given an option to take a retest on June 23.

The development followed amid a nationwide protest over the alleged irregularities in declaration of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2024 result, which is used as a basis for admission to various medical courses in India.

How many students were given grace marks in NEET 2024?

The National Testing Agency (NTA) which conducts the exam, awarded grace marks to 1,563 students citing reasons such as “loss of time during examination,” a question with two correct answers, an easier exam, changes to textbooks among others.
Due to this, an unprecedented number of 67 students turned out to be toppers this year, scoring 720 out of 720 marks, which took all the aspirants by surprise as there are usually a couple toppers in each exam.

Six of these toppers had appeared at the same exam centre, located in Haryana’s Jhajjar, raising further questions.

What was the physics question with 2 correct answers?

In total, of the 67 toppers, 44 were given grace marks because they answered one of the questions ‘wrong’.

They marked the answer to a certain physics question ‘wrong’ but still received grace marks for it because it had two correct answers.

In the question paper, the NTA had asked a specific question related to nuclear composition. Two statements were given based on the question.

The statements were as follows:

Statement I: “Atoms are electrically neutral as they contain equal numbers of positive and negative charges.” 

Statement II: “Atoms of each element are stable and emit their characteristic spectrum.”

The students were provided with four options, out of which they had to mark the “most” appropriate answer.

These options were: 

One: First is correct but second is incorrect; 

Two: first is incorrect but second is correct; 

Three: both first and second statements are correct;

Four: both statements are incorrect.

Following the exam, the answer key released by the NTA said that the right answer for this physics question was “option 1.”

However, thousands of candidates challenged the answer key based on an old version of the Class 12 NCERT textbook, which wrongly said, “Atoms of each element are stable”.

According to this statement, the “option 3” is the correct answer to the question.

Hence, the NTA revised the answer key to say that the question had multiple correct options and gave credit to those who marked “option 3.” This resulted in 44 students getting the grace marks and scoring 720 instead of 715.

Other irregularities flagged about the exam are the case of alleged paper leaks, a claim refuted by Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

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First Published: Jun 13 2024 | 2:54 PM IST

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