NEET examinees cannot wear belts, caps, metallic items; cannot carry food, water
Kolkata: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), a national level board that conducts the nationwide medical entrance examination National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2018, triggered controversy after it imposed certain restrictions on candidates which many have termed to be "absurd".
All medical aspirants will be forced to agree on the regulations set by it. The candidates had to agree on certain rules framed by the CBSE before being able to download their admit cards from the NEET website. The instructions issued by the Board have not only sparked a row among the medical aspirants but several of them are even confused about the new directives.
The directives state that no students will be allowed to enter the examination centre with any metallic items, ornaments like ring, earrings, nose-pin, chain or necklaces, pendants, badges and brooches. The barred items also include wallets, handbags, belts, caps etc. Many medical aspirants from Bengal, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion, have raised questions on the decision of the Board.
There was confusion among the students belonging to the Sikh community whether they would be able to wear the 'kada' and carry the 'kirpan' to the examination hall as both are metallic items. Married women belonging to the Hindu community also raised questions if they would be able to wear iron bangles or 'mangalsutra' which they consider to be auspicious. Restrictions imposed on using of caps and similar items triggered uncertainty if the Sikh students will be allowed to enter the examination centre wearing turbans. Banned items also include eatables including opened or packed, water bottles, stationery items, bits of papers, geometry/pencil box, any watch/wrist watches, bracelets, cameras etc. There are also some restrictions on wearing dresses as well. Candidates have to wear light clothes with half sleeves not having big buttons, brooches/badges, flowers etc with salwar/trouser. It's mandatory for the candidates to wear slippers, sandals with low heel and not closed shoes.
Dr A K Maity, an expert in the field of medical education in the country, said: "CBSE must consider some issues on humanitarian grounds. Students have to enter the examination centres in two slots. Candidates belonging to slot A have to enter halls between 7.30 and 8.30 am while slot B candidates between 8.30 and 9.30 pm. The examination starts at 10 am and continues till 1 pm. How are these candidates to remain without food for such a long time?"
"The CBSE must ensure that the students at least get some food and purified drinking water. The Bengal government used to conduct the medical entrance examination in a more systematic manner. Each candidate now has to pay Rs 1400 for appearing in the NEET while they had to pay only Rs 500 when the exam used to be conducted by the West Bengal Joint Entrance Board," Dr Maity maintained.
The NEET 2018 will be held at 99 centres across Bengal on May 6 where around 59,390 candidates from the state will appear. It may be mentioned that despite its efforts, the national level Board failed to check the leakage of NEET question papers in previous two years.