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NEET Counselling Schedule for 2024 Yet to be Notified: Health Ministry Confirms

IIT Aspirants: Beyond Placement Packages

The NEET 2024 counselling schedule is pending, amid malpractice allegations, ongoing investigations, and the Supreme Court’s decision against postponement.

The Health Ministry circulated a notification at large that for the year 2024, MCC has not declared any counseling schedule for NEET UG and PG courses. This comes when the situation is already mired in uncertainties and cancellation demands over alleged malpractice during the exam. The situation has thrown out several complexities involved in organizing and managing high-stakes entrance examinations in India.

The MCC, under the Directorate General of Health Services, is the nodal agency responsible for conducting counselling for admission to medical colleges. The counselling schedule is subject to the completion of exam processes and the finalization of seat matrices by the NMC. Historically, these have spread over January 19, 2022, October 11, 2022, and July 20, 2023, to have UG counselling started. In the year 2024, NMC looks to complete the matrix of seats for UG and PG by mid-July and mid-August, respectively. The effect of this will be that the MCC will declare the counselling schedules depending on these timelines.

The uncertainty over the dates of the NEET counselling is further complicated by allegations of mass-scale malpractice in the NEET-UG 2024 examination. There were massive demands for the scrapping of the exam on account of the apprehension over the fairness of conduct during the test. The Centre has already opposed in the Apex Court such scrapping of the exam with the NTA, citing the injury it would cause to honest students. The apex court has also refused to postpone the counselling process, saying that the schedule should not be disturbed even when investigations are going on.

It was a turn-about time for him as NTA director general, who had been sacked. A new panel was put in place to conduct fair exams and redress complaints lodged against alleged malpractice in the running of NTA examinations, with the prominent addition of the former head of ISRO, K Radhakrishnan.

High-stakes examinations, such as NEET, are the test of integrity involved in shaping the careers of thousands of medical students. Any kind of breach of confidentiality or malpractice creates not only a critical issue for the future of the students but also throws the credibility of the system of educational examination into doubt. Therefore, the NTA and the other stakeholders have to come up with stringent measures by which malpractice of any type is checked, and tests are conducted fairly and transparently..

Neet-Ug has been under scrutiny, it is just not the only examination that was being cancelled for the validity of the UGC-NET, was also another major examination that was cancelled for the second time as there was a breach in exam conduct. Now, the CBI has been asked to examine the breach more deeply and bring out facts. These instances also preach the general vein in which the examination bodies have been working to maintain the sanctity of the entire testing process. 

The way forward needs a multidimensional approach. Primarily, robust detection and prevention mechanisms for malpractice need to be put in place. The follow-up of these has to be supplemented by using state-of-the-art technology for the surveillance of examinations and the security of question papers. Secondly, transparent mechanisms for grievance redressal and inquiries are needed. The balance between the appointment of panels and various fields of experts can add a lot of credibility to the examination process at large, as one sees in the induction of K Radhakrishnan.

Also, reforms need to be a continuous process with the examination system. This involves the creation of better alternative assessment methods that can supplement the traditional examinations. For instance, including continuous assessment and practicals in the exams can yield a better impression of the candidate’s ability. Secondly, examiners and invigilators need timely training for them to handle any anomalies that might arise.


This is the continued uncertainty and problems surrounding how the high-stakes examinations are carried out in India; the counselling of NEET for the year 2024 is yet to be established. Allegations of foul play related to NEET-UG would ensure that stringent measures are in place to avert that. Therefore, the NMC and the MCC need to show serious intent in finalizing the seat matrices and announcing the counselling schedule; broader issues have to be sorted to let go of all the loopholes by which a candidate might feel cornered.

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