Several students who appeared for the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on 7 May this year have alleged discrepancies in the answer key that was uploaded by the board, putting the fate of over 11 lakh students in jeopardy.
Multiple petitions in this regard have been filed in the Delhi High Court, challenging the CBSE’s results and demanding the quashing of the result declared by the CBSE on 23 June.
Responding to a petition in the Delhi High Court, filed by a NEET student Rajpreet Singh (name changed), the CBSE said on 3 July that the results declared by the board on 23 June were based on the new answer key which was uploaded in the website only on 2 July.
“The petitioner’s result declared on 23 June 2017 was as per the revised answer key. The revised answer key has, however, been uploaded on the website of the Department only yesterday (2 July) evening,” the CBSE said while responding in the court.
The CBSE conducted the first ever NEET examination for medical aspirants on 7 May this year, where over 11 lakh students appeared for the medical entrance examination throughout the country.
Singh’s parents questioned the entire NEET results. Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Singh’s father said, “If the CBSE now changes the answer key on which the students were evaluated after declaring the results, shouldn’t students again be given a window to challenge any discrepancies, if any, in their marks as per the new answer key uploaded? This will change the entire result and the ranking of many students.”
Hearing another petition filed by Urvashi Khanna, NEET student, the Delhi High Court has directed the CBSE to file, in a sealed cover, a report on the correctness of the answers of two questions that had featured in the NEET 2017 exam and the matter will be heard on 8 August this year.
Khanna has alleged that the CBSE had failed to identify and mark the correct answers in the answer key issued by it for the examination. Answers of four questions—Question No. 58 (Biology), 68 (Biology), 105 (Chemistry) and 140 (Physics)—are alleged to have been wrongly mentioned in the answer key. Out of these, a mark for one of the questions has already been given to all the candidates, after the same was accepted to be wrong by the authorities.
As per NEET guidelines, the answer key to the question papers are uploaded on the board’s website to challenge for any discrepancy in the question or the answer key of the board. The answer key was uploaded on the board’s website on the same day of the examination (7 May) and students were given a window of two days (15 and 16 June) to challenge any question or answer that they found to be wrong as per the official answer key.
However, while the CBSE uploaded a revised answer key on the website on which the results were declared, the board failed to open its doors for any discrepancies in any student’s results. And many students and parents feel that this new answer key uploaded by the board could alter the results and ranks of many students.
Repeated calls and messages to Rama Sharma, CBSE’s PRO, and Dr Sanyam Bharadwaj, Officer on Special Duty, NEET, for clarification on the NEET results and the CBSE’s reaction to the story yielded no response.