NEET EXAM 2024: All You Need to Know about Controversy, Cut-off Marks

NEET 2024: All You Need to Know (Including Cut-offs, Controversy, and What to Expect)

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is a crucial gateway for aspiring medical professionals in India. Every year, lakhs of students compete fiercely for a coveted seat in a medical college. This year, however, NEET 2024 has been under intense scrutiny due to a recent controversy. To help you navigate this crucial exam, this article provides a comprehensive overview, including the number of seats available, previous and expected cut-off marks, and a breakdown of the recent controversy.

Number of Seats Available in NEET 2024

The total number of MBBS and BDS seats available for NEET 2024 is approximately 1.28 lakh. This includes:

MBBS: Around 1 lakh seats across various government and private medical colleges in India.
BDS: Roughly 27,868 seats across dental colleges.

It's important to note that the exact number of seats may vary slightly every year depending on new college approvals or changes in seat allocation. However, the figure above provides a good estimate for NEET 2024.

Previous Year Cut-Off Marks (NEET 2023)

Here's a breakdown of the cut-off marks (in percentile) for the General category in the previous year's NEET exam (2023):

General Category: 50th Percentile (around 617 marks)
The cut-off marks for reserved categories (OBC, SC, ST) and Persons with Disabilities (PwD) are generally lower than the General category. 

You can find the detailed cut-off marks for all categories in the previous year on the official NTA website or through reliable educational portals.

Expected Cut-Off Marks for NEET 2024
Important Update: 

The NEET 2024 results, including the cut-off marks, have already been released on June 4th, 2024.

Here's a summary of the cut-off percentiles and marks for NEET 2024 (category-wise):
General (UR/EWS): 50th Percentile (around 720-164 marks)
OBC: 40th Percentile (around 163-129 marks)
SC/ST: 40th Percentile (around 163-129 marks)
UR/EWS-PwD: 45th Percentile (around 163-146 marks)
OBC-PwD/SC-PwD/ST-PwD: 40th Percentile (around 145-129 marks)

Disclaimer: These are the official cut-off marks released by the NTA. It's important to remember that cut-off marks can fluctuate slightly every year depending on various factors, including:

Number of Test Takers: A higher number of students appearing for the exam can potentially raise the cut-off marks due to increased competition.
Difficulty Level of the Exam: A tougher exam might lead to lower average scores, potentially lowering the cut-off marks.

Number of Available Seats: An increase in available MBBS and BDS seats could lead to lower cut-off marks.

What to Expect in NEET 2024 (Beyond Cut-Offs)
While the cut-off marks are crucial, there are other aspects to consider when preparing for NEET 2024:

Exam Pattern: The NEET exam consists of three sections – Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (Botany & Zoology) – all with equal weightage. Each section has 45 questions (180 total).

Syllabus: The syllabus for NEET is vast and covers topics from Class 11th and 12th NCERT textbooks.

Preparation Strategy: Develop a focused study plan that emphasizes understanding concepts, practicing mock tests, and revising regularly. Utilize resources like previous year question papers, NCERT textbooks, and reliable coaching materials.

Manage Time Effectively: Time management is critical during the exam. Practice solving questions within the stipulated time limit to avoid last-minute anxiety.

Stay Updated: Be aware of any official updates or changes in the exam pattern or syllabus released by the NTA.

The Recent Controversy Surrounding NEET 2024
The recent NEET 2024 exam has been embroiled in controversy due to several concerns raised by students and medical bodies. Here's a breakdown of the key issues:

Record Number of Perfect Scores: A significantly higher number of students secured the highest possible score (720)

NEET 2024: Exam Under Scrutiny - A Breakdown of the Controversy

Let's delve deeper into the issues that have plagued this year's NEET exam. A Flurry of Perfect Scores and Statistical Anomalies
The first tremors of controversy erupted when the results were announced. A record number of 67 students secured the highest possible score of 720. 

This sent eyebrows soaring, particularly since questions arose regarding the awarding of marks beyond the standard scheme. The Indian Medical Association's (IMA) Junior Doctors' Network (JDN) pointed out that some students received marks like 718 or 719. 

This discrepancy fueled suspicion, as the marking scheme doesn't account for such scores. The JDN demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry to investigate the "statistically questionable" results.

The Curious Case of Multiple Toppers from One Center

Adding fuel to the fire was the news of six students from the same exam center in Haryana cracking the top ranks. This improbable coincidence raised serious concerns about a potential question paper leak or unfair advantage at that particular center. The National Testing Agency (NTA), the body responsible for conducting NEET, vehemently denied any leaks. However, the lack of a clear explanation and the sheer improbability of the situation left many unconvinced.

Textbook Troubles and Grace Mark Mystery

Another bone of contention was the alleged discrepancies between the NEET question paper and the NCERT textbooks, which are considered the primary source of study for the exam. Over 13,000 students challenged the answer key released by the NTA, claiming discrepancies with the information provided in the NCERT books. The NTA, however, defended itself by stating that the answer key was based solely on NCERT textbooks, but this explanation failed to appease the agitated students.

Further muddying the waters was the issue of grace marks. Grace marks are awarded for questions with ambiguous wording or errors. While the NTA acknowledged awarding grace marks, the lack of transparency regarding the criteria and the specific number of marks awarded to each student fueled suspicion. The JDN, in its letter to the NTA chairperson, demanded a clear explanation of the grace marking process.

Students Take to the Streets, Legal Eagles Take Flight

The discontent simmering amongst students finally boiled over into protests. Aspirants across the country took to the streets, demanding a re-examination and a fair chance at securing a medical seat. They raised slogans against the NTA, alleging a lack of transparency and a flawed examination process.

The controversy also reached the hallowed halls of the judiciary. Public Interest Litigations (PILs) were filed in various High Courts across India, challenging the alleged irregularities in the NEET exam. The Calcutta High Court, for instance, directed the NTA to file an affidavit within ten days, explaining the discrepancies in the marking scheme and the adherence to reservation policies while preparing the merit list.

The NTA's Defense and the Path Forward

The NTA, facing immense pressure, has maintained its stance that the NEET 2024 exam was conducted fairly and transparently. The agency has denied any allegations of question paper leaks or irregularities in the marking process. They've emphasized the reliance on NCERT textbooks and defended the record number of high scores as a result of a tougher exam compared to previous years.

However, the controversy continues to cast a long shadow over the NEET 2024 results. The court cases are ongoing, and the final verdict is yet to be delivered. The student protests and the concerns raised by medical bodies highlight the need for a more robust and transparent examination system.

Here are some key takeaways from the NEET 2024 controversy:

The record number of perfect scores and statistically improbable marks raise questions about the fairness of the evaluation process.

The presence of multiple toppers from the same center fuels speculation about potential leaks or unfair advantages.

Discrepancies between the question paper and NCERT textbooks create confusion and anxiety among students.

The lack of transparency in awarding grace marks adds to the suspicion surrounding the results.

The ongoing court cases and student protests underscore the need for a more transparent and accountable examination system.

The NEET 2024 controversy serves as a stark reminder of the importance of ensuring fairness and transparency in high-stakes examinations. 

Only through a robust system that addresses the concerns raised by students and medical bodies can we ensure that deserving candidates have a fair shot at pursuing their dreams of becoming doctors.
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