Thursday, August 25, 2016
The legal battle over the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) for admission to medical colleges is set to continue. The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreeing to hear a fresh plea seeking the combined result of NEET phase I and phase II be set aside on the grounds that the question papers were of different “difficulty levels”.
The fresh petition alleged that NEET II was tougher than NEET I and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) came out with a common result without “normalisation” or rationalisation of marks obtained by the medical aspirants in these two tests.
The plea, filed by a Bihar based medical aspirant Shivangi Singh who has already been selected in the combined result, was mentioned before a bench of justices A. R. Dave and L. Nageswara Rao for urgent hearing.
The bench agreed to hear the matter along with the other pending petitions on the issue next week. “Set aside/quash the combined result of NEET-I and NEET -II (UG) for sessions 2016-2017 prepared and declared on 16 August 2016 by CBSE by combining raw scores of candidates treating the same to be a single test and direct CBSE to prepare All India Merit List/rank on percentile basis after adopting ‘normalisation’ method for NEET-I and NEET-II test conducted on 1 May and 24 July,” the plea filed through advocate Manoj Singh said.
The plea said the declaration of combined result without normalising the marks obtained in by candidates in NEET-I and II was “illegal and unconstitutional and violative of their fundamental rights under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution”.
It said that treating NEET-I and II conducted on two different dates with two different sets of questions with different difficulty level as one single exam for determining the rank of candidates without applying the “normalisation” formula, amounted to placing NEET-I candidates higher in All India Ranking vis-a-vis candidates from NEET-II with poor score due to difference in difficulty level.
The plea also sought direction for appointing an independent committee of experts to ascertain the difference in difficulty level of the questions of NEET-I and II and applicability of “normalisation” method. The petitioner also sought direction to CBSE to rectify the errors in answer keys in question booklet of NEET-II and quash the wrong answers with a further direction to declare her result after making correction.