Two medical aspirants from Tamil Nadu, in Coimbatore and Ariyalur districts, have alleged that their Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets have been doctored. The two students who wrote the exam on September 13 have now demanded a revaluation of their original sheets and one of them has approached the National Testing Agency to intervene in the matter.
17-year-old KS Manoj, a resident of Karumathampatti in Coimbatore district had checked his answer sheet twice online and compared it to the answer key released by a private coaching agency. As per his calculations, he was confident of scoring over 500 and had only skipped two or three answers in the entire paper. But on Friday night, when the results came he found out from relatives that he had scored only 248.
"When I calculated my marks with the OMR sheet on October 15, I scored 594. I even made relatives do it because I was very nervous a day ahead of the results. We checked once more on October 16," says the aspirant. "But when I checked my final score I was completely shocked. We were convinced there was some machine error and that I can get it evaluated again based on my OMR sheet," he adds.
But when he called NEET helplines to clarify the matter, he received no satisfactory response. Manoj and his relatives then went back to the NEET website to download his OMR sheet on Saturday, when he observed discrepancies that were allegedly not present in his original answer sheet.
"I saw that the OMR sheet had changed. Only the answers for the 248 marks they had awarded me were there. This was not my sheet. My signature and roll number are correct but the answers marked are different," he alleges.
Another 17-year-old student Manju, from Ariyalur district's Kudikadu village too was allegedly shocked to find that the OMR sheet she downloaded was not hers. The medical aspirant was heartbroken over the 37 marks she had scored in the exam, after getting a minimum of 700 in all her practice tests.
"I have always wanted to be a doctor, a cardiologist specifically. I have not even applied for any other course or counselling. After the exam, when I checked the answer key, I was confident of getting over 600," says Manju. "When I downloaded the OMR sheet after the results, the total came to 48. But the result they have given me is 37. I want my original sheet," she insists.
Manju's mother Maharani explains that the family has sacrificed a lot to help Manju train for the exam. From quitting her job to preparing with Manju, the mother has stood by her child at every step. Even the practice tests at home were conducted with Manju wearing masks and gloves to prepare her for the exam.
"The first and last column are my daughter's OMR sheet but the columns in between are not from her paper," says Maharani. "This sheet doesn't belong to my daughter. She left only three questions to even avoid negative marks. We have worked day and night for this exam. Please give us our original OMR," she adds.
While Maharani approached the media for help, Manoj and his family have lodged a complaint to the NTA via email, attaching screenshots of his original OMR and the one downloaded after his results came. They are yet to receive a response.