New Delhi, Jun 19: The Congress will hold protests in all state headquarters on Friday over the alleged irregularities in medical entrance exam NEET, demanding justice for the students.

In a letter to all state unit chiefs, Congress legislature party leaders, state incharges, general secretaries and other top functionaries, Congress general secretary, in-charge organisation, K C Venugopal, said there is an urgent need to address the numerous complaints and concerns surrounding the NEET-UG 2024 conduct and results.

"As you are aware, the National Testing Agency (NTA) released the results of NEET-UG 2024 on 4th June 2024. The results have been marred by allegations of irregularities and paper leaks following the inflated marks of some aspirants," he said.

Venugopal said there are significant concerns over inflated marks and irregularities, and awarding grace marks without disclosing the methodology further raises doubts.

"The examination has been plagued by technical glitches, malpractice and unfair means in certain test centres. Organised corruption is evident from arrests made in Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana, revealing a pattern of malpractice in BJP-ruled states," he said.

The Supreme Court has also highlighted the seriousness of these allegations, demanding zero tolerance for negligence, Venugopal noted.

"Such irregularities undermine the credibility of the examination process and jeopardise the future of countless dedicated students. The Congress party had promised to secure the future of the youth by enforcing strict laws against paper leaks in our manifesto," he said.

Against this massive corruption and irregularities in the NEET examination and the desperate inaction and silence of the NDA government, all Pradesh Congress Committees are requested to hold "massive protests" in state headquarters on Friday, June 21, 2024, demanding justice for the students, Venugopal said in his letter dated June 18.

"This demonstration should involve senior leaders and party functionaries," he added.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said even if there was "0.001 per cent negligence" on the part of anyone in the conduct of the NEET-UG 2024 examination, it should be thoroughly dealt with.

Observing that students have to labour hard while preparing for these examinations, the apex court said the litigation pertaining to the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate)-2024 examination ought not be treated as adversarial.

The Centre and the NTA had on June 13 told the top court that they had cancelled the grace marks given to 1,563 candidates, who took the examination for admission to MBBS and other such courses.

They will have the option to either take a retest or forgo the compensatory marks awarded to them for the loss of time, the Centre had said.

The examination was held on May 5 across 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates took it. The results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were announced on June 4, apparently because the evaluation of the answer sheets got completed earlier.

There have been allegations of question paper leaks in states like Bihar and other irregularities in the prestigious exam. The allegations have led to protests in several cities and filing of petitions in several high courts as also the Supreme Court. Scores of students protested in Delhi on June 10 seeking a probe into alleged irregularities.

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. It has been alleged that grace marks contributed to 67 students sharing the top rank.

The NEET-UG examination is conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in the government and private institutions across the country. PTI