No Paper Missing, No Broken Locks: Exam Body's Reply In NEET-UG Leak Case

CCTV coverage in the Command Centre showed no pointer to paper leak, the NTA has said

Alleged NEET irregularities have sparked nationwide protests

New Delhi:

Doubling down on its 'no leak' stand in the massive row surrounding the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the National Testing Agency has told the Supreme Court that no question paper was found to be missing and no locks were broken in Patna.

This is significant because allegations of a paper leak in the all-India entrance exam for medical education aspirants first emerged from the Bihar capital. The CBI, which is investigating alleged irregularities in the exam, has arrested eight people in the Bihar case.

In its affidavit filed in Supreme Court, the NTA has said that reports of the City coordinator, Centre Superintendent(s) and observers concerned were examined.

"No question paper was found missing in any Trunk. Each question paper has a unique serial number and was assigned to a particular candidate. No locks were found broken. The reports from NTA Observers did not report anything adverse. The CCTV coverage in the Command Centre were constantly monitored. No untoward incident or any pointer to paper leakage was observed," it said.

The NTA's response comes after the Supreme Court's remark that it is clear that a leak has taken place. "One thing is clear that leak of question paper has taken place," a bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra said Monday. "If the sanctity of the exam is lost, then a re-test has to be ordered. If we are unable to identify those who are guilty, then a re-test has to be ordered," the bench said. The court has said that the extent of the leak and the beneficiaries have to be identified before the court may order a re-test that will potentially affect lakhs of students.

The testing agency has also responded to the alleged paper leak in Rajasthan's Sawai Madhopur.

"NTA came to know from social media on the day of exam itself around 4:30 PM that an incident has occurred at one Exam Centre in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, where a wrong medium of Question Paper was distributed, and some candidates protested and left the centre without giving the exam along with the question paper."

"Thereafter, a picture of the question paper was circulated on the social media alleging be a paper leak. In fact, there could not be leak caused by such an incident and the same was clarified immediately," the NTA has said.

"It is further clarified that the access to the centres was regulated and no Internet and mobile connectivity was possible during the actual conduct of the examination due to installation of jammers and control over usage of electronic devices thereby eliminating all scope of any adverse impact of such an incident," it said, adding that the retest at the centre was conducted smoothly the same day.

The NTA's emphasis that no paper leaked comes after the Centre told the Supreme Court yesterday there was neither any indication of "mass malpractice" nor a localised set of candidates being benefited.

It said the data analytics of results of NEET-UG 2024 was conducted by IIT Madras and as per the findings given by the experts, the marks distribution follows the bell-shaped curve that is witnessed in any large-scale examination indicating no abnormality.