Tamil Nadu

Check genuineness of all MBBS students admitted this year: Madras HC

A view of the Madras High Court in Chennai. File

A view of the Madras High Court in Chennai. File   | Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

Court orders testing agency to provide fingerprints of all students to the police.

The Madras High Court has embarked on a major exercise of cleansing medical college admissions of issues like impersonation in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), students from private coaching centres getting an upper hand over poor students in admissions, and first-time NEET candidates being elbowed out of competition by those who make repeated attempts.

Justices N. Kirubakaran and P. Velmurugan on Wednesday directed the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts NEET, to share with the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) the thumb impressions of all 4,250 candidates who got admission in government and private medical institutions in the State this year so that it could be verified whether all of them were genuine candidates. Since the CB-CID had so far collected concrete material to prove that six students had got admitted to the MBBS course this year through impersonation in NEET, and was suspecting the involvement of 13 more, the judges felt it will be prudent to check the genuineness of all 4,250 students who had got admitted in government and private medical colleges, apart from deemed universities, this year.

CBI as respondent

After Additional Advocate General P.H. Arvindh Pandian said that almost all the impersonators for the six students had appeared for the test in other States, and some private coaching centres may have played a crucial role in the illegality, the judges suo motu included the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) too as a respondent to a case before them, for a central agency will be in a better position to probe a pan-India crime. “It is seen from media reports that during Income Tax raids, huge unaccounted money has been seized from coaching centres. In Karnataka also, there seems to be a fraud committed for getting admission in medical colleges... When around 14 lakh students compete for 38,000 medical seats available in the country, there is bound to be heavy competition and in that process, this kind of fraud takes place, denying medical seats to deserving candidates,” the judges lamented.

Stressing the need for implementing a foolproof system, like a combination of a fingerprint checking mechanism and facial recognition technology, to prevent impersonation in NEET, the judges said all stakeholders, including the Centre, State governments and the Medical Council of India, should constitute a committee to evolve a new method which won’t allow any kind of illegality. The judges ordered that the media should refrain from disclosing the identity of young students. It was the bounden duty of the government to provide counselling to the students who had been arrested and released on bail so that they do not end up taking any extreme step, they observed.

Authoring the interim order, the senior judge in the Bench directed the Central and State governments to submit by October 24 the details of students who had cleared NEET in the first attempt and those who had cleared it after multiple attempts. The judges wanted to know how many had cleared NEET by attending private coaching centres and how many had done so without assistance from such centres. The order was passed while the court was hearing a writ appeal that had complained of large-scale irregularities in filling NRI quota seats in private medical colleges.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 8:20:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/check-genuineness-of-all-mbbs-students-admitted-this-year-hc/article29719821.ece

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