Chennai, July 11: All candidates who had appeared for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil this year will now be given 196 grace marks as the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to do so. The bench asked the Board to bring out a fresh list of candidates who will have qualified the examination within two weeks time and also ordered the suspension of counselling sessions till then.

The court said,”The Board should revise the list of qualified candidates and publish the same afresh within a period of two weeks from today. It shall then be open to the authorities concerned to go about counselling the eligible candidates. As a necessary corollary to the above, the list of qualified candidates shall be kept in abeyance as would the counselling sessions, pending publishing details of the qualified candidates afresh in keeping with the order of the court.”

The decision to grant four marks for each of the wrong 49 questions, was given by division bench of Justices CT Selvam and AM Basheer Ahamed after a PIL was filed by CPI(M) MP TK Rangarajan who sought full marks for all the 49 questions, saying key words had been wrongly translated in the Tamil question paper. Rangarajan pointed out the errors saying ‘cheetah’ had been translated as ‘seetha’, and technical terms had also been misinterpreted which led to confusion among students.

The court therefore observed and ordered the Board to grant the students, the grace marks as otherwise they would be deprived of opportunities in the near future. The court argued that thousands of under privileged students too appeared for the examination and would be deprived of a fair chance if not awarded grace marks for the mistake which had been committed by the Board and the government officials.

NEET which allows admission to medical and dental colleges, had a total of 180 questions having 720 marks, this year. Reportedly, nearly 24,000 students appeared for the NEET exam in Tamil.