Editorial: NEET & Neeti

Observing that NEET, instead of giving the expected good results, has benefited only students who spend lakhs of rupees on coaching classes and put rural students at a disadvantage, the Madras High Court on Monday advised the Centre, which framed the rules, to take note of it. The division bench, comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan, stated this when hearing a PIL after Additional Advocate General P H Aravind Pandian, complying with the court’s 25 October directive, submitted a list of candidates who got admission after attending coaching classes and those without doing so.

The court noted that the government stated that only 48 students got medical seats without attending coaching classes, whereas 3,033 secured admission to government colleges after going to coaching classes. Similarly, only 52 students got admission in self-financing colleges without attending coaching classes, while 1,598 got medical seats after attending coaching classes. The bench said it was shocking that only a negligible number of candidates got admission without coaching. “That means medical education is not available to the poor people and it is available only to those who underwent coaching classes by spending lakhs of rupees. Moreover, this will also put rural students in a disadvantageous position, as they lack facilities of undergoing coaching,” the court said.

It also asked the Union government, which brought in the rules or amendment to conduct NEET Exam, to take note of it. S Dheeran, an aspiring medical student, had filed the PIL for a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to undertake proper counselling and “mop-up procedure” to fill 207 management quota MBBS seats in various colleges. The court had widened the scope of Dheeran’s petition, taking note of the NEET impersonation scam which surfaced last month when a suspicion was raised over a first-year MBBS student of Theni Medical College. Investigations revealed he had secured the admission using the marks scored by a proxy candidate. The court had directed all medical colleges in Tamilnadu — government, private and deemed universities — to send a list of admitted students to the National Testing Agency, which conducted NEET, by e-mail on or before 30 October. The very idea behind bringing NEET is to ensure that top performers get medical seat, and not the ones who have money to ‘buy’ it. If the purpose is not achieved, the government should rework its strategy to ensure justice to all.

NT Bureau