The National Eligibility Entrance Test or NEET is conducted nationwide for MBBS/BDS aspirants to get admission in Medical/Dental Colleges in India. This examination was introduced in 2013 and is undertaken by millions of candidates all over the country every year since then. For the current academic year, NEET exam dates have been released and the entrance is scheduled to be held on May 06.
On the other hand, AIADMK MP K. Kamaraj has argued against this procedure of having a centralised medical entrance examination like NEET in the country. He has urged to re-evaluate the decision of medical admission process through NEET 2018. According to the parliamentarian, NEET is unconstitutional and helps only students from wealthy families fulfil their dreams of becoming reputed doctors while depriving rural students of their primary rights appearing for the exam.
The note of dissent was put forward on the 109th report of Departmentally Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare on the National Medical Commission Bill of 2017 where he mentioned that the admission procedure through NEET is undemocratic and invaded the states’ federal rights. The report was listed by the committee on March 20.
Quality of medical education must be improved
To establish his view, Mr K. Kamaraj has said, “In order to achieve uniformity and desired standards among medical practitioners, the quality of medical education and training must be standardised and improved, not the admissions to medical institutions.” He is also of the opinion that instead of NEET, the National Licentiate Examination will be the best solution for students graduating from the medical colleges.
However, the committee mentioned in its report that the National Licentiate Test (NLE) as proposed by AIADMK in the National Medical Commission Bill is going to be especially stressful for financially challenged students who are unable to pay for private tuitions. The panel also suggested including NLE in the final year examination of the MBBS course.
According to K. Kamaraj, currently, NEET is beneficial only for the affluent students as they can easily afford higher standard urban education. To explain his stand, the AIADMK MP was quoted as saying, “NEET is against the interest of rural students and those from poor socio-economic background since they have no means to private coaching centres and high-priced urban and private schools. Even the poor students who are bright are denied the opportunity to study medicine”.
He also mentioned that Tamil Nadu government had always been against the idea of introduction NEET and had already actively debated it earlier. He urged the committee to reassess the previous proposal on NEET as the gateway to admission in the medical colleges in the country.
Kamaraj suggested that if the committee still insists on continuing NEET for medical admission, it should guarantee authorized provisions in the NMC Bill. That way, the states will have the option to introduce state quota in their colleges and grant admission to candidates in those seats. This system was prevalent in the state Tamil Nadu earlier, where the admission process for medical colleges took place based on the marks obtained by the candidates in their school leaving examinations.