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HomeOpinionsTamil Nadu’s decision to scrap NEET-exam is irrational

Tamil Nadu’s decision to scrap NEET-exam is irrational

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer

The all-India National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), a qualifying test for admission to MBBS, BDS courses, was rejected by the Tamil Nadu state. It did so on basis of a committee report, which the very same state-government constituted, to study the impact of NEET on the state. The findings of the report showed: a divide between the rich versus the poor, rural versus urban and other caste divisions in the society. No society on earth is uniform. While agreeing the divide in the society, one has to admit, that it has been addressed in the Constitution of India by way of: “reservations” to the downtrodden.

A.K Ranjan committee, was specifically constituted by the T.N Govt. to know the socio-economic effect of NEET. The committee made public its report recently, bringing out the gap in social conditions: between rich and poor, rural and urban, and also the central syllabus -CBSE vis-à-vis state-syllabus differences etc., According to its report NEET-exam is discriminatory, as it favors the elite affluent class to grab medical seats. Moreover, these urban-affluent would not work in rural areas later, is the committee’s explanation to remove NEET from the state. They could have taken a cue from neighboring Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states, that each medical student has to mandatorily work at least for three-years in rural areas.

NEET promotes coaching centers and benefits their business is another objection that was raised by the committee. Several suicides of students reported in the media were of NEET-exam deaths, unable to meet with their aspiration (of acquiring a medical degree), is the argument of the state-government. Hence, the T.N. Govt. is confronting head-on with the Centre for agreeing to its state- assembly recently passed: ‘Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill’, to be ratified. The Bill is now pending with the President of India for approval.

The Tamil Nadu Govt. is going ahead to scrap totally medical entrance examinations in the state. Instead, they would like to take the finals of class-XII marks, as the standard for selection. This kind of assessment based on marks conducted by the state (as a routine annual assessment for certification) can never be an appropriate yardstick. For, there was a large-scale assessment-survey on tests/examinations done, on all over India basis, by some reputed institutions recently. (https://www.largescaleschoolassessments.org/?utm_source=dellfoundation&utm_medium=referral)  see page-43

According to their survey report the states’- run examinations and their assessment of marks are found to be often artificially inflated and hence unreliable and unrealistic. It is in the interest of the genuine students (that would like to test their knowledge at all India level) it is better to have the NEET-exam in T.N. This is the best option for the talented to enter the medical field. To bring students to that level, should be the endeavor of the state. To bring uniformity and quality in the medical field, the Centre is keen on going ahead with NEET-exam i.e., one nation-one exam kind of integration. It brings a semblance of equality to them.

There is another view prevailing among people. Since, the higher education in general has become a big business, some vested interests are trying to thwart NEET. As private medical and engineering colleges have come out (with the increased number of seats), this business has become lucrative. Those, that are involved in doing business in education, are doing politics. Many politicians are businessmen in vice versa. This could be one of the reasons for Tamil Nadu going against the centralized NEET-exam. Since, NEET-exam streamlines right from writing the exam to admission into the courses (with fees-fixed by the government), private parties would not have the chance of collecting donations.

Moreover, class XII marks are not an objective assessment. The subjective question-answers are corrected by individual paper-evaluators in his/her own way. Awarding marks becomes a subjective judgment. Hence, in the interest of the nation, the Central Govt. should go with the all India NEET-exam for Tamil Nadu state too. The Centre could override the state, if it deems fit, though education comes under concurrent-list in the Constitution, is the opinion of the legal experts. Be it on three-language formula, be it on implementation of NEP 2020 or now on NEET, Tamil Nadu Government tries to fix a match: The Tamil Nadu state versus rest of India. No doubt, Tamil Nadu is a great state with exceptional culture. However, it is in the Union of India, not a stand-alone one.

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer
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