NEET-UG 2024: Health activist Dr Dhruv Chauhan to connect medicos with aspirants seeking help, counselling

As many medical aspirants are left feeling hopeless about their future after this year’s results, medicos suggest they explore opportunities other than MBBS
This year, the competition is said to have inflated by over 300%
This year, the competition is said to have inflated by over 300%(Image: EdexLive Desk)

With a sky-high cut-off and several instances of discrepancies in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test - Undergraduate (NEET-UG) 2024 exam results, most medical aspirants in the country are left disheartened.

To support these students, Dr Dhruv Chauhan, a health activist and the National Council Coordinator of the Indian Medical Association - Junior Doctors Network (IMA-JDN), has started a support campaign for the students.

Announcing this on social media platform X, Chauhan urged medical students and doctors to come forward and volunteer to help the students who might be feeling demotivated after the results.

Speaking to EdexLive, he explained, “Last year too, I had initiated the same campaign. To my surprise, several people came forward. Most of the NEET aspirants do not come from a family with a medical background. Individuals who have cleared this exam in the past are the best people to approach regarding concerns about the exam, future prospects, and so on.”

Through this initiative, students can reach out to any of the medical students or doctors who have volunteered regarding their concerns related to marks, cut-offs, counselling requirements, and more. And how will they reach out? Here's the plan.

Dr Chauhan has called on experienced doctors and medical students who want to volunteer for this to comment on his post on X, so that the aspirants seeking assistance can go to the thread and approach them.

It is important to note since the results came out on June 4, cases of attempted suicide by NEET aspirants have surfaced from different parts of the country.

Today, an 18-year-old NEET aspirant from Madhya Pradesh allegedly jumped to her death in Kota from the ninth floor of a multi-storey building.

Bigger issue this year

While inflation in NEET-UG cut-offs is not a new concern for the medical community, this year the competition is said to have inflated by over 300%.

“Last year, there were two students who scored 720 out of 720, this year the number has increased to 67. This is absolutely not possible and has never happened in the history of NEET. This time the issue is much larger, the aspirants reaching out to me are greater in number, the number of queries have also shot up. I am receiving over 1,000 messages per day. I am providing them with this medium. I cannot respond to everyone but people who can, I want them to help,” Dr Dhruv Chauhan explained.

Students and medical associations have suspected that this abnormal hike in the cut-off is due to paper-leak in this year's NEET-UG examination.

To recall, instances of paper leak and usage of unfair means have come forward from several exam centres from across the country. In Bihar, the Patna police arrested 13 people in May in relation to the NEET-UG paper leak case. A petition has also been filed in the Supreme Court to look into these allegations and demand a reconduct of this nationwide examination.

Not just this, other irregularities also surfaced after the National Testing Agency (NTA) released the NEET-UG 2024 results on June 4 when candidates pointed out that a few students scored 718 or 719 out of a total of 720. This raised eyebrows since the marking scheme for the exam is four marks for each question and one mark is deducted for every wrong answer.

Clarifying this, the NTA said that it received representations and court cases from NEET UG 2024 candidates raising concerns about loss of time during the exam and therefore, such candidates were compensated with grace marks. However, the medical community seems to be dissatisfied with this explanation, demanding a more elaborate response regarding the criteria considering which grace marks were given.

More opportunities

As many medical aspirants are left feeling hopeless about their future after this year’s results, medicos suggest they explore opportunities other than MBBS.

Dr Chauhan said that the medical field might not be as glorious as most medical aspirants have heard.

“There are multiple options that one can explore apart from MBBS. Medicine has become an overhyped profession now. We have to understand that the field has changed a lot and it is not the same as it was 10-20 years ago. Doctors are facing employment issues. The payscale of doctors is much less than what engineers and other professionals are getting. Almost one lakh students are graduating every year but there is not enough employment. There might be opportunities in rural areas but most metro cities are saturated with doctors,” he said.

Speaking about alternate options, he said “You can go for dentistry, cosmetic surgery, psychology. You can be a good counsellor. Of course, there will be some amount of struggle everywhere, but in the medical profession the struggle is much more, it has also become toxic”

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