'Apex Court rule on NEET flouted'
SC order to set single question-paper for all centres violated as Odisha students fail to sit for exam on May 5
Kolkata: The Centre's decision to take two different stands when it comes to holding the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a nation-wide medical entrance examination, has sparked a row in Bengal with the doctors seeking the intervention of the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar and the state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in this regard.
The Union HRD Ministry has deferred the NEET in Odisha in the aftermath of a massive damage caused by severe cyclone, 'Fani' while in the rest of India the exam was conducted on May 5. The experts in the city viewed that according to the norms laid down by the Supreme Court of India, the nationwide medical entrance exam cannot be held in two separate sets of question papers.
As there is a postponement of exam ordered by the Centre in Odisha, the National Testing Agency (NTA) assigned to conduct the exam will have to set another question paper for Odisha, which will be different from the one the others had to write.
This, as some experts have argued, is a gross violation of the Supreme Court order.
Some of the city doctors and a few medical aspirants in the morning of May 3 wrote to the Union HRD Minister urging him for a postponement of examination with an apprehension that the cyclone might wreck havoc in Bengal as well. The cyclone eventually entered the state on late night of
The 'Fani' did not however have expected impact in Bengal as the system started losing intensity for want of moisture as it hit the land. Many mud and Kutcha houses in the coastal districts of the state collapsed due to gusty wind.
A sizeable number of students coming from the rural areas of the coastal districts faced immense problems while reaching the examination centers on Sunday morning. The doctors also wrote to the Bengal Chief Minister seeking her intervention.
Dr Amiya Kumar Maity, one of the doctors, who wrote to the Union Minister for his intervention said: "The merit of the medical aspirants cannot be judged if there are two sets of question papers. In an examination like NEET where nearly 800 candidates securing a same mark, it is extremely difficult to evaluate the answer scripts. Failing to secure even one or two marks can keep a candidate out of the race. The two dissimilar sets of questions cannot do justice to the students."
"Hence a nationwide examination like NEET cannot be conducted in two separate question papers as per the order of the Supreme Court. Various states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana were affected alongside Bengal and Odisha and we therefore urged the Union HRD Minister to postpone the examination across the country," Dr Maity added.