Calling it anti-poor, Madras HC calls for scrapping of NEET for MBBS admissions
Tamil Nadu: "Why can't the centre cancel NEET", observed the Madras High Court asserting that the entrance exam has been disadvantageous to students who could not afford NEET coaching classes and is discriminatory towards them. While giving the statement, the bench also viewed the NEET impersonation scandal which had majorly hit the state of Tamil Nadu recently.
The division bench, comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan stated that NEET discriminates against the poor and 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.
"It is shocking that only those who attended coaching classes... paid as much as Rs. 5 lakh... obtain medical seats... NEET was brought in to stop big money in medical admissions. But huge amounts of money are being paid to coaching centres to get admission," the court stated.
The whole matter came to HC's purview after 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 vacant management quota MBBS seats in various colleges. Subsequently, the court widened the scope of the aspirant's petition, taking note of the NEET impersonation scam which surfaced last month.
Medical Dialogues had been reporting about this scam wherein the Theni Medical College’s medico was booked under IPC Sections 419, 420 and 120 (B) for alleged impersonation in NEET. The matter was forwarded to the Selection Committee of the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) and the cops on the basis of the complaint filed by the Theni Medical College Dean Dr AK Rajendran.
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Apart from the use of proxy candidates, other angles like fudging NEET score were also being looked into in the case. During the preliminary inquiry, it was revealed that lakhs of rupees reportedly changed hands to help aspirants join MBBS through illegal means and a number of other students from Tamil Nadu had also used foul means to gain MBBS admission into medical colleges.Madras High Court observed that the fraud of NEET impersonation for acquiring MBBS Admission may have not been confined to Tamil Nadu alone, but may have spread all over India.
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NTA had further submitted the fingerprints of 6,976 MBBS students of government and private medical colleges and 1,250 of seven deemed Universities to the CB-CID, on the HC orders. Afterward, the bench had raised queries asking as to how many students wrote the NEET for the first time and got admission last week as well as regarding the number of students who got admission without undergoing coaching classes
Now, during the recent hearing session, the Madras HC viewed the PIL after the counsel for the government, complying with the court's October 25 directive, submitted a list of candidates who got admission after attending coaching classes and those without doing so.
The central government counsel informed the judges that in government medical colleges it was only 1,040, whereas the number of candidates who appeared multiple times and got admission are 2,041, reports TNIE.
Similarly, when private medical colleges were considered, only 588 students had got MBBS admission in their first attempt itself, whereas the number of students, who had got admission in more than one attempt, was 1,062.
On this, the bench observed,
The first-timers have to prepare for the +2 examination as well as for the NEET examination simultaneously, whereas the students who had already completed their +2 examination could fairly devote their time for preparing exclusively for the NEET examination, the judges pointed out adding that the unequals had been treated equally in the NEET and the results would speak for themselves. This fact should be taken note of by the Central government.
The court was further informed that only 48 MBBS students got medical seats without attending coaching classes, whereas 3,033 secured admission to government colleges after going to NEET 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, adds PTI.
The bench said that it was shocking that only a negligible number of candidates got admission without coaching and stated that the medical education is not available for the poor which also puts the rural students at disadvantage.
"It is shocking to note that only negligible candidates have got admission without undergoing 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 and lakhs of rupees. Moreover, this will also put the rural students in a disadvantageous position, as they lack facilities of undergoing coaching. It should also be taken note of by the Central Government, which brought the Rules and Regulations or amendment for conducting NEET".
It also asked the Union government, which brought in the rules or amendment to conduct NEET Exam, to take note of it. The bench then posted the matter to November 7.