The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET-UG is an entrance examination in India for students who wish to study any graduate medical course (MBBS), dental course (BDS) in government or private medical colleges in India. NEET- UG is a one-nation-one-exam and was first implemented in 2013 replacing the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) and other individual exam conducted by states. Its main purpose was to reduce corruption in the medical field especially in private medical colleges giving admissions by taking huge amounts of donations and to reduce the corruption in state-level exams (like Vyapam). However, some states opposed NEET 2013 as some of their criteria for selection were different. Some states give admissions to MBBS college on the basis of 12th percentage. This is why NEET was struck down and AIPMT was again conducted in 2014.
In 2015, the corruption was revealed again with reports on the AIPMT question paper being leaked in more than 10 states. After this many students protested and demanded a retest. Eventually, their demand was addressed by the Supreme Court and a retest was held.
In 2016, all the students were preparing for AIPMT when just two days before the exam we heard the news that Supreme Court had given a green signal to NEET. NEET-UG 2016 was held in two phases and a total of 7.5 lakh students appeared for the exam. Despite tight security measures, there were reports of a leak during phase 2. However, there was no response from CBSE, they totally denied the reports even though police arrested 5 people from Haldwani and Ramnagar.
More than 11 lakh students registered for the NEET-UG 2017 examination. The exam was conducted in 10 different vernacular languages on May 7. But NEET 2017 turned out to be the biggest nightmare of every NEET aspirant. This year, the paper was leaked again on a broad level. Just before the examination, Patna SSP Manu Maharaj caught a team of five people trying to steal the question paper.
Sadly, the problem does not stop here. As we know, NEET was implemented on the bases of one nation-one exam but this concept was completely destroyed by CBSE. It created different sets of question papers for different regional languages, which meant that the difficulty of the questions was not uniform. As a result of all these irregularities, NEET cut off marks were some of the highest in the history of medical entrance examinations.
This year, the list of irregularities is not very small. NEET 2018 was given by more than 13 lakh students across 300+ centres all over the India, in 13 different languages.
The first news came from Delhi where CBI arrested four people, including the owners of a Delhi-based consultancy agency, for allegedly attempting to secure seats for their candidates in medical colleges, based on a complaint lodged by CBSE.
In Delhi itself, a student was caught trying to cheat in the exam using Bluetooth. This incident came from St. Andrews Scots Senior Secondary School Examination Center located in the IP extension.,
Another case came from Rajasthan, where a student was arrested for giving the paper in place of another student.
In yet another shameful incident, CBSE examiners in Kerala made a woman aspirant remove her innerwear before she could appear for the exam. How can a girl give an examination peacefully after an incidence like this?
We know Kota as an education hub in India or I can say, in other words, the heart of the coaching industry of India. Brokers from Kota and near Kota were reportedly trying to sell college seats to NEET aspirants for amounts as high as ₹50 lakh to 1 crore.
This shows how irresponsible the system is.
In some of the centres in West Bengal, there was a shortage of question papers. How is it even possible when CBSE had all the details about the number of students who had registered for the exam? Students were then given photocopies of the question paper that already had another candidate’s code. In one centre, only 520 question papers were provided for 600 candidates, and those too with errors. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar to address these irregularities immediately and conduct a re-examination.
For the past four years, I have seen how mentally exhausting it is for students to appear for NEET. The CBSE demands so much from them before they can even appear – even dictates what they can or cannot wear while appearing. Even after such restrictions, the paper is leaked, or reaches students with errors that can cost them admission to a college. In no time, students will give up and stop preparing for such exams.
We know re-conduction of such a huge exam is not an easy task but why should even a single student’s future be ruined because of corruption? We demand from the government to look into this matter immediately. If cheaters become doctors then we can imagine the future of our country.