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GUEST EDITORIAL  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2
National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test should not be considered as sole criteria for gaining entry into medical education in India


Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India

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Date of Web Publication15-Mar-2018
 

How to cite this article:
Shanbhag VL. National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test should not be considered as sole criteria for gaining entry into medical education in India. J Educ Ethics Dent 2017;7:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Shanbhag VL. National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test should not be considered as sole criteria for gaining entry into medical education in India. J Educ Ethics Dent [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Dec 14];7:1-2. Available from: http://www.jeed.in/text.asp?2017/7/1/1/227439






Based on the order of the Supreme Court of India, performance in National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) has been a sole criterion to gain admission into the medical colleges throughout India. NEET was initially conceptualized with two main aims. One was to remove the burden of students writing several separate entrance examinations for gaining admissions to medical colleges. The second was to reduce the financial inequalities that occurred during admissions to private colleges.[1] However, due to regional diversities, there has been opposition to NEET in states such as Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.[2] Last year, the Supreme Court of India temporarily permitted Tamil Nadu State Government to carry on the admissions to its 40 medical colleges based on the Tamil Nadu Board Examinations. However, on August 22, 2017, the top court instructed Tamil Nadu Government to admit students into medical colleges based on their NEET performance only.[3]

NEET is said to favor students who studied Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) more than state syllabus.[4] CBSE syllabus is of high standards when compared to that of state syllabus.[5] Furthermore, NEET is argued to disadvantage poor, rural, and economically backward families since they cannot afford costly private tuitions to crack the examinations. Private tuitions are purportedly required to score high in this difficult examination.[3] For example, some Tamil Nadu state students even though they scored high marks in the board examinations were unable to secure a seat in NEET. Several respondents have approached the top court for exempting from NEET and to consider the marks they secured in the state board examinations.[6] However, the apex court had then declined the request.

NEET is formulated by CBSE.[7] NEET currently appears to be disadvantageous to rural and economically backward state syllabus students. This stands especially true for students who study state syllabus of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.[7] NEET examination has created an imbalance and inequality between students who study state syllabus with that of CBSE students. In addition, rich students who can afford high fees for availing private tuition for NEET examination are favored over backward, poor, and rural students who cannot afford the required special coaching.[8] There are also complaints that NEET examination conducted in regional languages was comparatively tougher when compared to the one in English.[9] There are also reports highlighting the increased fee structure in private medical colleges post NEET.[9],[10],[11]

India is a diverse country and making a single admission test like NEET mandatory for medical education without considering the diversity between the states will likely lead to failure, imbalance, discrimination, and injustice to several students. NEET should be modified or exempted for medical admissions based on the prevailing current education system in the different states. State board examination requires the students to write answers to questions in detailed manner and should be sufficient to test the aptitude required for gaining admissions to medical education. The state board examination performance should certainly be considered for admission into medical colleges in applicable Indian states. Entrance examinations such as NEET are based on multiple-choice questions which need special coaching to be cracked.[12]

State governments should make every effort to raise the current educational standards to the level of central syllabus so that students are well prepared to face examinations such as NEET.[5] The Central and State Government after duly considering all the diverse factors should work out periodically to enforce a suitable formula that brightens the aspirations of students aspiring for medical admission. The formula should consider the prevailing education system and local conditions prevailing in individual states. Otherwise, blindly enforcing NEET on students without considering the local educational and economic conditions will lead to more chaos and misery. Entrance examinations and education systems should lighten up the lives of students, cherish their dreams, and reward their hard work. A single entrance examination like NEET in a stricter sense cannot truly reflect the aptitude and intelligence of students.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Supe A, dean. NEET: India's single exam for admission to medical school promises transparency and quality. BMJ 2016;354:i4051.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
The Hindu. Students' Protest against NEET Continues Across the State; September 05, 2017. Available from: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/students-protest-against-neet-continues-across- the-state/article19621873.ece. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 28].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Stalin JS. Student Who Fought NEET Exam in Supreme Court Found Hanging. NDTV; 02 September, 2017. Available from: http://www.ndtv.com/tamil-nadu-news/tamil-nadu-student-who-challenged-neet -order-allegedly-commits-suicide-1745016. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 13].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shanbhag VK. India's NEET exam poses problems in its current form. BMJ 2016;354:i4704.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.
Krishna TM. The TM Krishna Column: It was not Just NEET That Drove Anitha to Suicide, we all did. Scroll.in; 14 September, 2017. Available from: https://www.scroll.in/article/850284/the-tm-krishna-column-it -was-not-just-neet-that-drove-anitha-to-suicide-we-all-did. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 14].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
PTI. Tamil Girl, Who Took NEET Fight to Supreme Court, Commits Suicide. The Wire; 01 September, 2017. Available from: https://www.thewire.in/173183/tn-girl-suicide-neet/. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 13].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Maini K, Suicide A. Death of Innocence Busts NEET Myth as the Great Leveller of India's Medical Education. First Post; 13 September, 2017. Available from: http://www. firstpost.com/india/watch-anitha-suicide-death-of-innocence -busts-neet-myth-as-great-leveller-of-indias-medical -education-4002249.html. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 13].  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Rajaram R. Girl Who Filed Case Against NEET Commits Suicide. The Hindu; September, 2017. Available from: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dalit-girl-who-filed-case-against-neet-commits-suicide/article19601636.ece. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 13].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Nidheesh MK. NEET Protests: More States Join Protests. Livemint; July 27, 2017. Available from: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/QgYD6W50rev6VcHmGs9GKP/NEET-protests -More-states-join-the-fight.html. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 28].  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Garg B. Private Medical Colleges Hike Fee, Add New Charges. The Tribune; July 20, 2017. Available from: http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/private-medical-colleges-hike-fee-add-new-charges/439199.html. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 28].  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Manav S. Now, pay up to RS 90 Lakh for MBBS in Private Colleges. The Tribune; July 13, 2017. Available from: http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/now-pay-up-to-rs-90-lakh-for-mbbs -in-pvt-colleges/435645.html. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 28].  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Kumar K. Why Exams like IEE, NEET, are Not Good Enough to Test Students' Aptitude. Hindustan Times; 12 September, 2017. Available from: http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/why-exams-like- jee-neet-are-not-good-enough-to-test-students-aptitude/story-CRZ23aAX2k819Kw8KTpOfK.html. [Last accessed on 2017 Sep 14].  Back to cited text no. 12
    

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Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vagish Kumar L Shanbhag
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jeed.jeed_21_17

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