New Delhi, Jul 2: The number of candidates sharing the top rank in medical entrance test NEET-UG reduced to 61 from 67 as the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced revised results on Monday.

The revised result was announced after a retest was conducted for 1,563 candidates who were earlier awarded grace marks to compensate for loss of time as exam started late at six centres on May 5.

Six of the candidates who scored perfect 720 were those with grace marks. Five of them opted for a retest while one for scores without grace marks. None of the five candidates could score 720 in the retest.

The NTA, however, did not divulge the fresh scores of these candidates.

Forty-eight per cent of the 1,563 candidates for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate) retest conducted on June 23 at seven centres didn't appear.

NTA officials reported that 813 out of the 1,563 candidates appeared for a retest, while others opted for scores without the grace mark. The retest took place at seven centers following a Supreme Court order.

Among the centres, Chandigarh, which had just two candidates, registered zero attendance. Jhajjar centre, which was under the scanner, registered 58 per cent attendance with 287 of the 494 candidates came for the test.

Allegations arose that these grace marks inflated scores, leading to six candidates from a single Haryana centre achieving a perfect 720, along with 61 others. Consequently, the court ordered the cancellation of grace marks and provided an option for a retest.

"At least 52 pc — 813 out of 1,563 candidates — appeared for the retest on Sunday. No candidates appeared in Chandigarh, while the numbers were 291 from Chhattisgarh, 1 from Gujarat, 287 from Haryana, and 234 from Meghalaya," a senior NTA official said.

The NEET-UG examination, originally held on May 5 at 4,750 centres, saw approximately 24 lakh candidates. The results, which were initially expected on June 14, were announced on June 4 due to early completion of answer sheet evaluations.

Notably, 67 students scored a perfect 720, an unprecedented number in NTA's history, with six from a Faridabad centre in Haryana, raising suspicions of irregularities and the role of grace marks.

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

The NTA is at the centre of controversy over alleged irregularities in the exam including paper leak with various quarters demanding a re-test.

The Centre, however, has been maintaining that the incidents of irregularities are "localised" and it cannot jeopardise careers of lakhs of candidates who cleared the exam rightfully. PTI