No evidence of paper leak in NEET-UG, opposition spreading lies without knowing facts: Pradhan

New Delhi: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday rejected allegations of paper leak or rigging in the medical entrance exam NEET-UG, saying there is no evidence to substantiate the claims, and accused the opposition of spreading lies without knowing facts.

The results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) were announced by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on June 4.

“No concrete evidence of any kind of rigging, corruption or paper leak has been found so far in the NEET exam. All the facts related to this are before the Supreme Court and are under consideration. The kind of politics being done on this issue is only an attempt to spread confusion and it affects the mental peace of the students,” Pradhan said.

“NTA conducts three major examinations—NEET, JEE, and CUET—successfully in the country. We will take action against the people responsible. We will ensure no student is at a disadvantage,” said Pradhan, who had held the education ministry portfolio in the second term of the Narendra Modi government.

“In connection with the NEET examination, 24 lakh students appeared in the examination. A hearing in the Supreme Court is underway today and this issue is regarding around 1,500 students. The government is ready to give answers to the court,” he added.

Pradhan also said that an “atmosphere is being created that there has been a big anomaly concerning NEET.”

“Some greater questions have been raised; the government is ready to address the issues of the students. The government has taken the specific incidents seriously. Those who are responsible will definitely be punished. I want to assure the students and parents that the government of India and NTA are committed to giving justice to students with all transparency. There was no paper leak.”

He also said that the issue of grace marks given to over 1500 students has been taken into consideration and a committee of academicians has been formed. “If the candidates, out of the 1,563, do not wish to take the re-test, then their earlier marks, sans the grace marks, will be given for the purposes of the results,” he added.

The results of the re-test will be declared on June 30 and the counselling for admission will start on July 6.

The NEET-UG results, which were announced on June 4, the day Lok Sabha election results were announced, led to widespread protests by students and the medical fraternity, over alleged irregularities.

Allegations of question paper leak and the grant of grace marks to over 1,500 medical aspirants led to noisy protests all over the country. Cases were filed in as many as seven high courts, as well as the Supreme Court, which is hearing the matter. The next hearing in the SC is on July 6.

As many as 67 students scored a perfect 720, unprecedented in the NTA’s history, with six from a centre in Haryana’s Faridabad figuring in the list, raising suspicions about irregularities. Hundreds of students protested in Delhi on June 10, seeking a probe into alleged irregularities.