NEW DELHI :

The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Thursday informed the Supreme Court of India that it will appoint a committee of three experts to re-examine the answers to an alleged error in Hindi version of Physics paper

Move comes in order to assuage the apprehensions of students who appeared for the NEET (UG) 2021 exam.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and Vikram Nath was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for NTA, that the questions will be evaluated again by a committee of three experts.

The bench recorded his submission that after the process is done the testing agency would file an affidavit before this court giving details of evaluation done by the panel of experts.

“During the course of the hearing, Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, has submitted that in order to allay the apprehensions of students who appeared for the NEET (UG) 2021 with Hindi as the medium, the solutions to both the Hindi and the English versions of Question No 2 of Section-A in the Physics Paper (Code P2) shall be evaluated again by a committee consisting of three experts,” the bench said.

It noted, “After this process is done, it has been submitted that an affidavit would be filed before this Court setting out the result of the evaluation of the solutions.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on 30 November.

The National Eligibility and Entrance Test-Under Graduate (NEET-UG) examination was held on 12 September, 2021, for MBBS and BDS courses in which over 15 lakh students have appeared. It was conducted by the NTA and results were declared on 1 November.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Wajda Tabassum and 21 others NEET candidates alleging discrepancy and patent error in question number 2 of the Hindi version of Physics paper in which the word ‘amplitude of the current’ has been omitted.

During the hearing, Mehta said that the issue was examined by neutral experts and they have opined that the answer would be the same irrespective of the alleged discrepancy or omission of words in the Hindi translation of the question paper.

Advocate Archana Pathak Dave, appearing for the petitioners, said that due to the omission of the words, another answer in the Hindi version is correct.

She said that out of over 15 lakh students, who appeared for the NEET-UG examination, nearly two lakh students have opted for the Hindi version and they would be at a disadvantageous position as there was negative marking for wrong answers.

The bench then told Mehta that though the judges on the bench are not experts in Physics and the contention of petitioners is that both the answers are correct in Hindi and English versions, it would be better if the answers are re-examined by the panel of experts in the field.

Mehta agreed to the suggestion after which the court recorded his submission.

The plea has claimed that due to the alleged omission of the words in the Hindi version, candidates who have attempted the question have arrived at a different answer than their English counterparts.

It has been said that both the incorrect and the correct answers were provided as options to the multiple-choice questions and the students, alleging omission of the words, have sought deletion of the said question.

They have also sought to declare the NEET-UG, 2021 examination as erroneous and faulty as the NTA without taking cognizance of the error has released the answer key based on the answer to the English translation and has put the Hindi version candidates at the disadvantageous position.

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