Costly MBBS entrance: Female candidates get concession while giving JEE but not NEET
New Delhi: Similar to last year, NEET 2020 which hasn't even been conducted yet; recently got encircled with controversy over its registration fees for female candidates.
It has been alleged that the National Testing Agency (NTA) did not give concession to female candidates registering for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) this year, while they got 50 % for applying in Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) Mains.
NEET is the gateway to MBBS, BDS as well as AYUSH admissions in the country at present.
In 2019, Medical Dialogues had reported that the NTA had been in spotlight on account of the applications fees collected by the NTA for NEET. Thorough calculations revealed that the Central government through NTA earned more than Rs 192 crore from the NEET fees last year.
The National Testing Agency, which conducts the entrance exam, claims to be a not-for-profit an organisation that makes arrangements for the exams from the funds collected through fees.
Seeking clarification as to how the money has been spent by the government in public interest, a Neemuch-based activist Chandrashekhar Goud, filed an RTI (Right to Information).
Now, questioning this academic year's NEET application process, the activist had filed another RTI which has reportedly revealed that while women candidates in India can avail 50 per cent concession for applying in IIT-JEE Mains, they do not get any cut in registration fees for NEET. The RTI sought reason for difference in provisions for women candidates for both the entrance exams.
NTA conducts both NEET and IIT-JEE Mains. As per the query, the application fee for candidates aspiring for NEET 2020, is Rs 1,500 irrespective of the gender, while in IIT-JEE Mains, application fees for BE/B Tech or B Arch or B Planning is Rs 650 for boys and Rs 325 for girls under general category and Rs 325 for both boys and girls under SC/ST/PWD and Transgender categories.
However, according to the RTI response, there is a concession in NEET under general category for Economically Weaker Section (EWS), OBC-NCL (Other Backward Classes-Non Creamy Layer). The application fee for NEET is set at Rs 1,400 and for NEET applicants under categories -- SC/ST/PWD and Transgender is Rs 800.
The query further found that the NTA follows a different protocol when it comes to giving concessions to the women candidates for these two exams.
It was found that 9, 34,828 candidates have registered for the IIT-JEE for 2020 and totalling NEET candidates count is under process as the application has got over recently only.
Justifying its stance while responding to the query as to why there was a difference in the fees, the NTA stated that the role of the agency was limited only to conduct the entrance exams and declaring the results and its work is based on directions given by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and National Medical Commission (NMC) for NEET.
Whereas, for IIT JEE; the agency is responsible to conduct test and handover the results to Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) and Central Seat Allocation Board. The NTA conducts Joint Entrance Exam as per the directions given by JEE Apex Board, reports IANS.
The responses to the RTI query were provided by Binod Kumar Sahu, Joint Director (Admin), National Testing Agency.
Speaking to IANS about the dissimilarity in fees for women candidates in both the entrance tests, medicos stated that the application fees is way to high as many of the students also apply for second attempt.