Kerala NEET Innerwear Row: Affected girl students allowed to re-appear for exam 

The incident that occurred at a NEET exam centre had led to a huge furore, with the Kerala police arresting seven people in connection with it
Image for representation purpose only | Pic: EdexLive
Image for representation purpose only | Pic: EdexLive

Following backlash over girls being forced to remove their innerwear at an examination centre for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in Kerala's Kollam, the National Testing Agency (NTA) has decided to allow the affected medical aspirants to re-appear for the examination, if they desire to, on September 4.

The incident that occurred last month had led to a huge furore, with the Kerala Police arresting seven people in connection with it. They were released on bail soon after, as stated in a report by IANS.

The girls' parents had raised their voice against the "inhuman act" by the invigilators and said that their wards were totally "devastated", which impacted their performance. Consequent to this, a three-member team of officials attached to NEET conducted a probe into the incident and submitted a report on the mental agony the girls had to undergo, as per IANS. 

Based on the report, the testing authorities decided to conduct a re-examination only for the affected girls, if they wish, at a new centre in Kollam district. Those arrested then included the Vice-Principal of Mar Thoma Institute of Information Technology (the college where the test was held last month), NEET exam Centre Superintendent Priji Kurian Issac and NTA observer Dr Shamna, as per IANS.

Two women staff members of the college and three others of the testing agency — Star Training Academy — were also among those arrested. They were charged under IPC Section 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty) and Section 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), as per IANS. 

To recall what happened at the exam centre in Kerala...

The incident took place at Mar Thoma College of Science and Technology, Ayur, on July 17, after metallic hooks were detected in the innerwear of some girls during screening. According to the complaint, many girl students were asked to remove their innerwear if they wanted to attempt the exam, causing them severe emotional distress.

A petition was filed on July 27, before the Kerala High Court, seeking compensation to the girl students who were forced to remove their innerwear.  The petitioner submitted that no matter what the exam was, the physical examination, which was conducted under stress just before the exam, is one of the things that destroys a person's memory prior to the exam, as per a report by ENS.

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