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Q. NEET issue: Comment on the ongoing issue of the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET).
May 16, 2016 Related to : GS-Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is an entrance examination for students who wish to study any medical and dental courses in government or private medical colleges across the India. NEET will replace all other entrance exams conducted by central and state governments and also by colleges themselves. NEET will be conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

Issue-

NEET was initially proposed to take place from 2012 onwards, but for several reasons NEET was differed for years. Various state governments, many minority and private colleges were opposing the single national level NEET citing various reasons and challenged it in court. Recently Supreme Court rejected these pleas allowed MCI and CBSE to conduct a single common entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses through NEET.

(Note- In 2013 the Supreme Court was quashed NEET and declared it as unconstitutional)

Analysis-

Arguments against the NEET-

  • Given the huge diversity and its federal system, NEET affects the rights of various stakeholders. The Indian Constitution was interpreted to allow states to conduct exams for their government seats. Various universities and colleges conducted their own tests. Similarly, minority institutions were constitutionally protected and held their own tests.

  • As test will be conducted only in English and Hindi, it affects students of other vernacular languages. An English medium student has an advantage over a vernacular student.

  • Hence various state governments, many minority and private colleges were opposing the single NEET and requesting to quash NEET and allow them to hold separate entrance exams for MBBS and BDS courses.

Arguments in-favour of NEET-

  • A single national level test will create a national standard for intake into medical and dentistry programmes.

  • Admission based on national merit will ensure that every student admitted has the basic aptitude and the knowledge base to become a competent medical professional.

  • The NEET will push the 30-odd school boards to adhere to common curriculum and standards for the sciences.

  • It will give major relief for students who on an average for appear for 10 of the 50-odd entrance examinations. With single test they can apply any colleges across the India.

Conclusion-

A single test yielding an all-India merit list does not undermine the rights of states and private institutions rather it will improve the quality of medical professionals. A single national level exam will reduce the financial as well as physical burden for both students and governments. There are few genuine concerns exists, hence government and MCI should address those issues and take state governments and private institutions on board  to realise the true benefits of NEET.


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