Is NEET Even A Need?

Tanya Mary, I Year B.A. English
Swetha R, I Year B.A. English

The tragic death of Anitha, daughter of a daily-wage labourer, created a political drama with parties blaming one another for the girl’s suicide. With politicians only aiming to get power, nobody addressed the issues of utmost importance: Can a life be at stake for something that is supposedly aimed for the student’s benefit? Are the state board portions that sub-standard in quality that the students aren’t able to compete at the national level?

People began opposing NEET without understanding the complete issue revolving around it, as the emotional aspect of the tragic death of Anitha was highlighted to cover the main problem as to why a bright student who scored 1176/1200 in the board examination managed to score only 86/720 in NEET. This is a case of people protesting, but not knowing what they are protesting against.

The National Eligibility Entrance Test, popularly known as NEET, was introduced in 2013 as an eligibility test for medical aspirants in both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It replaced the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) which was conducted by states or colleges themselves. Though it faced a lot of opposition in the initial level with the Supreme Court stating that NEET was “unconstitutional and illegal”, a five judge constitution bench recalled the previous verdict and allowed the implementation of NEET in April 2016.
Six states including Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Gujarat and Maharashtra were exempted from NEET in 2016 due to issues related to the parity of syllabus with a further condition that they would not be exempted from NEET from the following year.

NEET 2017 caused a huge uproar in Tamilnadu with a lot of petitions being filed in the Court to ban the exam in Tamil Nadu. A few petitions were filed demanding that NEET be taken as the sole eligibility test for medical admissions. It caused a lot of confusion and commotion in TN with a lot of medical aspirants fearing if they would get a medical seat. The confusion was finally put to rest by the Supreme Court which ordered that NEET would be the main aspect of medical admissions in Tamil Nadu and that no ban could be placed.

This created a huge problem for the TN state board students who were unable to score good marks in NEET as there was a huge difference in the state board syllabus and the NEET syllabus.

A solution to this problem would be to raise the standard of the State Board syllabus and ensure that it is in par with the other Board syllabi. More emphasis should be placed on application based learning rather than rote learning. The question papers should be set in such a way that the students are encouraged to apply what they learn rather than vomiting all those things that they had mugged up.

These changes should not be introduced in the higher secondary level and should, instead ,be introduced at the primary level. It is true that it might take a long time for the system to be improved, but the improvement of standards would indeed take place.

So let’s take a tiny step towards a brighter tomorrow where we have many qualified doctors who are living out their dreams, by striving for an increase in the education standards and the overall knowledge of the youth.

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