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Indian medical aspirants and their bleak future

Posted in Featured, Uncategorized, View Point

Published on June 21, 2024 with No Comments

Indians studying in Canada as “student” or “foreign students” should thank their stars that they don’t have to undergo the agony what the students in India aspiring to be doctors are going through now. Canadians perhaps will not have even assumed that the students at the age of 18-19 years have to put in 20 hours of study daily for two years. But that is the genuineness where 2.4 million medical aspirants compete for 109095 seats. NEET is a unique system of admission. To pursue a medical course in India, one must clear this test.

Despite having appeared for the test, the students face bleak future and uncertainty. National Testing Agency (NTA) declared the result of NEET UG exam on June 4. 67 students secured All India Rank 1 as 44 students 720/720.  This was not only unexpected but also unprecedented. NTA after a few days of silence came out with bizarre explanation. It claimed that this happened due to difference between the old and new books of NCERT!  NTA has said that in India, younger children of the house study from the old books of the elder brothers and sisters of the house. “In such a situation, we cannot term the answers given according to the old book wrong!”

Referring to those 44 students who scored perfect 720/720, NTA came out with another inexplicable answer. “Students got grace marks due to change in answer key.” However, the students allege that they were certain questions where the options given for the right answer were more than one. More than 10,000 students objected to this answer on the basis of old NCERT books. Citing loss of time by students NTA granted grace marks to around 1563 candidates. However, NTA didn’t disclose details of the formula that it used to grant those grace marks.

Also, there are serious allegations of paper leak and the possibility of an unfair advantage given to some candidates. Incidence of helping certain students by taking money close to 3 million Indian rupees have surfaced in Gujarat. These students were provided the question papers one day in advance to cram the answers. And this could not be the only incidence.

Questions are being raised about the integrity of the test. Paper leak can’t happen without the involvement of certain stakeholders whether that is inside the NTA or those connected with the conduct of the examination.

The plight of the candidates can be judged from the fact that;   If a student falls ill or doesn’t do well in the single test, he or she will not get a chance to qualify in another year. Thus, leading to loss of one year. NEET being a centralised test for all India student, most of the students land up with colleges which they may not want to join.

Additionally, with just one national test, commercial coaching institutes are making a lot of money. And since most of them are based in big cities, poorer students from a rural background and those who have studied in vernacular mediums remain at a disadvantage. There is also large-scale variation in the syllabus when it comes to the CBSE and state boards.

How can one adopt an ad hoc approach to an exam where 23 to 24 lakh students appear on a single day? This is nothing short of criminal negligence. Students who burnt the midnight oil and studied for two to three years at a stretch in order to get admission to a good medical college have found their dreams shattered, and with the education minister of India maintaining that no system has been compromised, the future of students is heading towards dark.

 

 

 

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