New Delhi, Jun 12: Sixty-three cases of students using unfair means were reported in NEET-UG out of whom 23 have been debarred for varying periods, NTA officials said Wednesday, but reiterated the sanctity of the medical entrance exam hasn't been compromised and there has been no paper leak.

The result of the remaining 40 candidates who were found using unfair means have been withheld, NTA DG Subodh Kumar Singh told PTI.

"A committee was constituted consisting of three eminent experts in field of examination and academics to put forward different types of cases reported such as impersonation, cheating and tampering with OMR sheet," NTA DG Subodh Kumar Singh told PTI.

"On recommendations of the panel, 12 candidates were debarred from taking the exam for three years, nine candidates debarred for two years and two candidate for one year each. The result of remaining candidates has been withheld. The panel had given recommendations for each case," Singh added.

The total number of cases of usage of unfair means was 63, he said.

The agency is under criticism amid allegations of irregularities and inflation of marks in the crucial medical entrance exam.

The matter has also reached the top court which said on Tuesday the sanctity of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG), 2024 has been affected and sought responses from the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) on another plea seeking holding of the examination afresh on grounds of alleged question paper leak and other malpractices.

Amid fire from protesting students and opposition parties, the Education Ministry had last week set up a four-member panel to review the grace marks awarded to 1,563 students to compensate them for loss of time due to delay in starting examination at certain centres.

"The panel is yet to submit its report. Depending upon the panel's recommendations, either a retest will be conducted for nearly 1,600 students or an alternate mechanism may be devised to ensure no candidate faces any disadvantage," he said.

Asked about allegations of marks inflation due to which 67 candidates have bagged top rank, Singh said, out of 67 candidates who got 720 out of 720 marks, 44 candidates received marks on account of revision of answer key of physics and 6 on account of loss of time.

"Only two candidates who got grace marks have received 718 and 719 marks," he clarified.

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Pune, Jul 22: A man and his friend were arrested for allegedly throwing the body of a woman in Indrayani river in Pune and flinging her two children into the waterbody as well when they started crying, a police official said on Monday.

The 25-year-old pregnant woman died when she was sent by her paramour and main accused, Gajendra Dagadkhaire, to Thane near Mumbai for an abortion, the Pimpri Chinchwad police station official said.

"On the way back on July 9, Dagadkhaire and his associate Ravikant Gaikwad threw the woman's body into the Indrayani river near Talegaon. When her children, aged two and five, started crying, the duo pushed them into the river as well. The woman was estranged from her husband and was in a relationship with Dagadkhaire, which resulted in her getting pregnant," the official said.

After the woman's mother approached police with a missing person complaint, a probe began, resulting in the arrest of Dagadkhaire and Gaikwad based on technical evidence, he said.

"The bodies of the woman and the two children have not been found as yet. Dagadkhaire and Gaikwad were remanded in police custody till July 30. Further probe into the case is underway," the official informed.