Chennai

Data on medical admissions proves NEET is anti-poor, say judges

Students during the NEET exam hall at Army Public on Kamaraj Road in Bengaluru   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

The Madras High Court on Monday accessed data from the State government, which proved that only a minuscule percentage of students manage to clear the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), conducted for medical admissions across the country, without attending private coaching centres.

Justices N. Kirubakaran and P. Velmurugan also got figures which proved that those who make multiple attempts in clearing NEET garner a majority of medical seats compared to the first-timers.

The data submitted by Additional Advocate General P.H. Arvindh Pandian showed that a total of 3,081 candidates got admitted in MBBS course in 23 government medical colleges in the State this year.

Of them, only 48 candidates had not attended any coaching centre while the rest had taken coaching from various centres.

Data on medical admissions proves NEET is anti-poor, say judges
 

As many as 1,040 of those candidates cleared NEET in the first attempt, whereas a majority of 2,041 cleared it either in the second or third attempt.

The data was furnished in the form of a counter affidavit filed by Additional Director of Medical Education G. Selvarajan.

In so far as admissions made to private self-financing medical colleges this year were concerned, the affidavit stated of 1,650 MBBS students, only 52 cleared NEET without coaching and the rest of 1,598 had undergone coaching.

Further, 588 of those students cleared NEET in their first attempt, whereas 1,062 cleared it after multiple attempts. “It is shocking to note that only negligible candidates have got admission without undergoing coaching.

Interim order

“It means medical education is not available to the poor people and it is available only to those who underwent coaching classes by spending lakhs and lakhs of rupees. Moreover, this will also put the rural students in a disadvantageous position as they lack facilities of undergoing coaching. It should be taken note of by the Central government, which brought the rules and regulations or amendment for conducting NEET,” an interim order passed by the judges read.

‘Unequals’

They went on to state: “The first-timers have to prepare for Plus Two examinations as well as for NEET simultaneously, whereas students who had already completed their Plus Two could fairly devote their time for preparing exclusively for NEET. The unequals have been treated equally in NEET and the results would speak for themselves. This fact should also be taken note of by the Central government.”

It was during the last hearing of a writ appeal related to alleged sale of NRI quota seats by some private medical colleges that the judges directed advocate Abdul Saleem, representing the Selection Committee of Director of Medical Education, to submit the data in court to find out the efficacy of NEET. After it was submitted in court on Monday, the appellant’s counsel M. Velmurugan said it proved that NEET favours only the rich.

Concurring with him, Justice Kirubakaran said: “It only proves that the doors of medical colleges are not open for the poor. That’s the reality. We are not siding with the poor but there should be a level playing field which is missing in this case. You (Centre) have been reversing all decisions taken by the previous government, reverse this also. The object of NEET was to prevent private colleges from making money, but now coaching centres are making money.”

‘Tip of iceberg’

Also wondering why a single case of impersonation in NEET was not been reported from any State other than Tamil Nadu, where as many as six cases were unearthed so far, the judge said: “What is found so far in Tamil Nadu is only the tip of the iceberg. Others are keeping a cautious silence. That’s all we can say now. We may have to order a CBI inquiry into all 38,000 MBBS seats filled across the country this year.”

Later, they directed the National Testing Agency to submit the fingerprints of all students admitted to MBBS course in government as well as private colleges, including deemed universities, this year to the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) for cross-verification and adjourned the case to Thursday for the CB-CID to spell out how long would it take to complete the process.


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Printable version | Jun 10, 2021 5:30:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/data-on-medical-admissions-proves-neet-is-anti-poor-say-judges/article29882825.ece

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