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From Paper Leaks Every Year To Errors In Question Papers: NEET Is Jeopardising Futures

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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.

You must be to comment.
  1. Aditya _/_

    Since BJP came in power ireegularities happening every year infact when bjp wale sees medical seat and exam they sees a source of income in it since past vyapam like scams are the nature of bjp politics they enjoying selling seats and fix exam and take crores very silently…

    1. Harsimran Kaur

      I absolutely agree with you

  2. Harsimran Kaur

    These politicians and some stupids are in turn risking their own and their family’s healthcare in danger by engaging in such criminal activities…
    Why can’t they see and understand this simple thing

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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