"Fair Probe Into NEET Episode Need of Hour", Demands PPFA

Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA), in a statement, also argued that those found responsible for playing with the dream of aspiring students must be punished under the law.
"Fair Probe Into NEET Episode Need of Hour", Demands PPFA
"Fair Probe Into NEET Episode Need of Hour", Demands PPFARepresentative image

Expressing dismay over the debates on irregularities in the nationwide entrance examinations to pick up aspiring students to study medical science in different academic institutions across the country, a northeast Bharat-based forum of nationalist citizens has demanded a fair probe into the episode and insisted that the evaluation process should be made fool-proved and quality-driven so that only meritorious and dedicated students get the opportunity to pursue MBBS, BDS, BVSc, etc courses.

Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA), in a statement, also argued that those found responsible for playing with the dream of aspiring students must be punished under the law.

It may be mentioned that the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) catches media headlines for the wrong reasons as some students topped the list of qualified students with grace marks, who earned 720 (out of 720 marks). The result of NEET, conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA), was declared on 4 June (as the entire nation was busy observing the outcome of General Elections 2024), which came 10 days earlier than the nodal agency initially announced.

Moreover, some students received strange marks (which is otherwise impossible with the calculating system of 4 for each correct answer and -1 for every incorrect response) in the 200-minute test.

The NEET process is alleged to empower some coaching centres, which encourage primarily question-answer-based discussions without going through the regular syllabus, to earn extra money from some desperate parents in the name of ‘educating’ the 12th standard students to score high marks for getting admitted to All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, IMS-BHU, KMC (Manipal & Mangalore), CMC Vellore, government medical colleges, etc for the undergraduate medical courses. Earlier the process was completed by All India Pre-Medical Test along with other entrance tests conducted by State governments and different medical colleges.

A large number of participants hit the street and by now the matter has reached the apex court, where the NTA admitted about offering grace marks to 1,563 students this year. But the agency, instituted by the Union government in 2017 with the mandate to conduct entrance and recruitment examinations, neither disclosed the provision of extra marks in examination brochures nor divulged criteria for the same. Described as a ‘premier, specialist, autonomous and self-sustained testing organisation’, the NTA has not clarified till now if it practiced the grace mark system in NEET-UG 2023 or any other tests.

“The evaluation system (multiple choice questions) to qualify a student for medical courses needs to be reformed as it had lately been used by a section of coaching centres to promote their ‘products’ and cleverly satisfy those rich and over-ambitious parents to make their children medical practitioners. Now the question that arises, is how the NEET becomes so important to pick up budding doctors even without assessing their general attitude, a much-needed quality for a practicing physician. After completion of their courses, should we get some doctors, who passed all the examinations with high marks, but failed to acquire the much-needed quality to serve the patients!” stated the PPFA.

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