The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) that was unilaterally imposed by the Central government in the admission process to the medical courses throughout the country, has not achieved anything tangible but the journey continues in reverse gear. NEET was said to bring ‘merit’ and ‘standard’ in the admission process but it has achieved nothing but sacrificed so many valuable lives of the prospective doctors. Students, who successfully got through the higher secondary school final examination (12th std) securing high marks are unable to get admission in the medical courses due to the unnecessary hurdle called NEET. How can a student who had studied very hard scoring high marks in 12th std exams, conducted by the State Board and other syllabus modes not be meritorious on having secured less marks in the NEET? NEET is made compulsory as entrance. The marks secured by attending mere coaching classes, for which fees are levied enormously by the coaching centres for a period one or two months, cannot be equated to the 12th std final exam marks, secured by undergoing the formal system of education at primary, secondary and higher secondary school level for a period of 12 years. Besides testing the knowledge of the students in the NEET, in an entirely different system of syllabus is contrary to educational ethics. Many sprouting buds aspired to become doctors and serve the society. Having secured high marks in 12th std many students committed suicide either allergic to NEET or unable to secure the minimum marks in the indifferent NEET.
Now NEET has been introduced, by taking away the constitutionally demarcated governing rights of the States since 2017 in Tamil Nadu and even earlier in many other States. What is the outcome of NEET? Who have secured admission in the medical courses? What is the admission matrix that reveals the standard and the pattern of secured marks (12th std) by the admitted students in the medical courses. Many of the students have secured only the minimum marks in the various regular science subjects to get just a pass in their school final examinations but passed NEET. How can such students would be meritorious as projected by the Centre by their securing the eligible marks in the coaching class oriented NEET?
The incompatibility of merit by the means of having secured marks in 12th std exams and NEET gets exposed intensely in the announced NEET results at latest on admission for the academic year 2020-21.
In the Statewise announced NEET result for the current year, the State of Uttar Pradesh stands first in respect of the total number of candidates who have become eligible for medical course admission. What is the meaning of ‘first’ in the total number of eligible candidates? For the past two academic years, the overall performance of students in 10th and 12th stds in Uttar Pradesh was dismal. Many candidates have not passed in their mother tongue viz. Hindi! In the declared results for 10th and 12th stds, in 165 schools, not even a single candidate has passed. In 385 schools less than 20 per cent of the respective students’ strength have passed the final examination. In 50 State government schools, 5 State aided schools and 84 private schools, the pass percentage is ‘ZERO’ in 10th std. In respect of 12th std, ‘ZERO’ pass percentage has been faced by 15, 58 and 176 categories of schools respectively. A total of 10 lakh students have not passed in 10th and 12th stds in Hindi language paper. In the results announced on 26th April 2020, of the total number of students who had appeared for 10th and 12th stds, 20 per cent have not passed in the Hindi language subject. Further it is stated that 5.74 lakh students in 10th std and 1.93 lakhs in 12th std have not passed the Hindi language paper. When the pass percentage in 10th and 12th stds students is like this, how is it possible for the State secure first position in the total performance in NEET? It is not the blame game on the individual student but on the educational system that prevails. A total of 88,889 students have become eligible for the medical admission through NEET marks. This is the validity behind the NEET marks.
Students who have not scored significant marks in 12th standard have secured high marks in NEET. How is it possible? Can the Centre that advocated and introduced NEET claim, ‘MERIT prevails through NEET’? When a new system gets introduced it is not so important who scored first rank individually and how many marks the individual student had secured? It is the overall success rate in the newly introduced NEET in comparision to the academic performance results attained through the formal system of education in the span of 12 years.
Whatever predicted and cautioned while NEET was introduced have proved positively with the negative impact on the aspirant – students for medical education. The Central government has completely failed in their pronouncement of ‘MERIT is decided in NEET’. Real knowledge possessing students should get admission and become doctors and that is required for the upkeep of health and welfare of the people of the country. If coaching class attending wealthy students who can afford to pay the enormous coaching fees get admission what would be the quality of such future doctors? Is this the standard, the Central Government intends to bring in? Is this the purpose for which the Centre has acted contrary to the constitutional provisions by interfering in the exclusive governing powers of State governments? Let the NEET get stopped! Enrolling students based on their performance in the school final examinations would only be ideal for any higher educational course admission. ‘Entrance Test’ is an undesirable hurdle for the students’ community. Let the NEET depriving the prospective doctors be scrapped out! Let not the rulers play with the lives of aspiring students and the life and welfare of the entire citizens of the country in the name of ‘MERIT’!
(The statistical particulars mentioned above have been widely covered, invariably in all the popular dailies, circulated in Tamil Nadu and the southern States).