HS toppers urge scrapping NEET; want states to conduct own exams
Kolkata: The toppers of Higher Secondary examination who failed to secure a medical seat and have vehemently opposed the implementation of NEET, now raised a demand to scrap it, allowing the states to conduct their own entrance examination.
The students also urged the state government to raise the issue with the Centre and take necessary steps so that the Union Health ministry cancels the implementation of NEET allowing the respective state governments to hold their own examination.
If the Centre continues with this single level entrance examination in the country, it would be disastrous for the students appearing in the vernacular languages.
The students said that the NEET's design is starkly favourable to the CBSE syllabi — in fact, it is tailor-made to the advantage of CBSE students and thus create an educational imbalance and students from state educational systems remain mostly deprived.
The examination was devised in English, extended to Hindi but those educated in vernaculars are the worst sufferers.
The HS toppers also viewed that the common entrance exam may spell doom for the majority of medical aspirants from the state boards. The poor students who were unable to afford the exorbitant training required to be engaged with national examinations with mechanical expertise would not be able to compete with the urban students studying in CBSE boards. A single level examination cannot be implemented throughout the country.
There has been vehement opposition from students, doctors, parents, non-commercial educationists, political parties and even social justice organizations regarding the same. The governments of non-Hindi states have also opposed the move.
It may be mentioned here that around 97.48 percent MBBS seats throughout the country have been filled by English medium students.
Swayangprabha Shaw, who failed to secure a medical seat despite ranking second in the Higher Secondary examination, said there is an over-arching fear that NEET will provide a huge advantage to students of Delhi-headquartered boards such as the Central Board of Secondary Education.
Students from these boards also tend to be more urban, upper caste, rich and less likely to be from non-Hindi states, apart from the principal language of non-Hindi states not being their first language.
Debasish Saha, who ranked eighth in the HS but did not get a seat, alleged in the name of NEET that the state boards were being forced to emulate the CBSE syllabi.
West Bengal board students who always achieve good results in the state-level medical entrance perform pathetically in the NEET. Due to this, the CBSE syllabus "pattern" has become the standard, while there are many other standard boards across the country.
Noureen Hossain, ranked eighth in the Higher Secondary exam, said the CBSE-based NEET syllabus favours those who have undergone their schooling and training in the CBSE/Indian School Certificate framework, the syllabus being a vital component of that framework.
State boards with syllabi that differ considerably from the CBSE are at an unfair disadvantage — they have to change or perish for absolutely no fault of their own.
Dr A K Maity, who was among the five doctors who wrote to the Prime Minister in this regard, said CBSE lacks the infrastructure to conduct a nationwide entrance examination. It is not easy for a board like CBSE to conduct a single medical entrance examination in 10 different languages in the country.