Published: 24th April 2017
Enforcing NEET will ensure that society's weakest sections will always remain weak and our farmers' children are kept out of medical college
The former Union Health Minister argues that it is unfair to hope that students from rural areas will hold a candle to those who have been schooled in the CBSE system
In Tamil Nadu, three lakh students study the State Board syllabus and only 12,000 students study the CBSE curriculum. In all, there are only 3,400 medical seats currently available. I can safely assure you that 3000 of the seats will go to CBSE students and only 400 seats will go to State board students. Why? Because almost 97 percent of the questions are from the CBSE syllabus.
What we are doing here is taking a bottoms-up approach, without properly analyzing how to raise the standard of education of the state syllabus on par with CBSE. Effectively, we're just denying the students a chance to get a medical education. Maybe after ten years, it would make sense to have an exam like NEET but not now — this is divisive education.
Rural students can kiss their medical dreams goodbye
Between 1984-2006, there was a medical entrance test and in the first entrance test only 15 percent rural students passed and in the last one 67 percent students passed. This exam was for Tamil Nadu alone and the numbers were so worrisome. Now we are asking these students to compete with the rest of the country, where are they going to get seats?
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Even the farmer quota has been done away with now. We don't even have infrastructure for students in rural areas, and worse still, all our villages don't even have colleges in their areas.
Now, because NEET is based on the CBSE syllabus, students have to go to tuition for special coaching, these coaching centres charge anywhere between Rs 50,000 - 2 lakh. Now if the child does not have a coaching centre in their city then they have to join a coaching centre that offers accommodation or they have to find accommodation, which means extra expenditure.
Education should be off concurrent list
The Centre often forgets that we are a country of different languages, cultures and identities, they want one language, one culture, one education system. But we are unique, we have to celebrate our uniqueness. During Indira Gandhi's rule when the Emergency was imposed, education was placed in the concurrent list and because of that we suffer now. Education should be a state domain and not that of the Centre!
MCI - Mafia Council Of India
Firstly, we cannot allow the MCI to take such decisions. If I start to talk about the MCI, I can go on forever. What NEET will do is to legalise medical capitation. More hospitals will charge high fees and accept donations too. There is no clarity on the criteria of the fee collection either.
Only those with money can study in CBSE schools and these students will have a chance to study medicine. There are complaints that ineligible students get into medical schools, but whose responsibility is to ensure this doesn't happen? The institutions and those in power. It is not the fault of the students but failure on the part of the administration.
If the MCI is so keen on having only merit based admissions then let them raise the cut-off from 60 percent to 90 percent, instead, why are they imposing NEET? The next few generations are going to suffer to get a medical education, we're just ensuring that the weaker sections remain weak and don't find a way to excel. This is what NEET will do.
(Dr Anbumani Ramadoss is a former Union Mnister of Health and Family Welfare and is MP, Dharmapuri. He participated at a debate on NEET hosted by Dinamani at the Edex Education Expo 2017. As told to Johanna Deeksha)