In Defence of NEET

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The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET­UG replaced the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) and all individual exams conducted by states or private colleges in May 2013 for admission to MBBS and BDS courses. The Medical Council of India (MCI) announced the syllabus for the NEET­UG in 2011. The distribution of marks, the model questions and the method of tie breaking for ranking have been placed on the website, as well as in the prospectus. The examination could have gone a long way to prevent any form of malpractices such as donations, profiteering and capitation fee, as it lays emphasis on merit as the only criteria for admission.

The state held Common Entrance Tests have turned out more as scams than genuine examinations. Who can forget how our own Mushtaq Peer raped the system. NEET has received a wide support of the students across the length and breadth of the country as it reduces the mental and financial burden on medical aspirants who otherwise have to appear in a number of examinations across the country. However, many colleges and institutes have taken a stay order and conducted private examinations. These so­called educational gurus and the social organisations in the name of right to practice any profession and right to reservation for the minorities, the scheduled tribes or the backward classes etc. are actually facilitating the well endowed parents to seek and secure the admission of their children through donations.

Let not the rights of the creamy layer usurp the rights of the cream of students. It is a sheer hypocrisy on their part that the barriers of a different language or a different standard of syllabus, cease to exist for them while competing for other national level examinations such as IIT­JEE etc, following the pattern of the unified Council. 

Moreover, it is worthwhile to mention here that the competitive exams mostly check the candidate’s ability to think through a problem than to recall his syllabus. Therefore on April 11, 2016, keeping in view the merits of NEET, a constitution bench of supreme court recalled the controversial 2013 judgement striking down a Common Entrance Exam for all medical colleges in India. The case, Medical Council of India vs Christian Medical College will now be heard afresh in the Supreme Court. Advocate Karan Seth on behalf of Union of India explains the legalities and sheds light on irregularites and questionable practices followed by the Indian medical colleges. 

After thoroughly analysing all the parameters of the problem, the Supreme Court through the recently promulgated ordinance has actually given a breathing time of one year to finetune the implementation of NEET and avoid repeated U turns. As goes the saying, it may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. And one cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. 

The J&K government on the other hand has invoked this spoiled state’s special status under Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution of India to seek exemption from National Eligibility and Entrance Test, in the Supreme Court. Article 370 seems no different from a black hole. As the later does, not let the light to pass through, so does the former not allow the reformative laws to be passed or adopted.

The irony is that the politicians of all hues in the state did not use article 370 to seek concession against the National Eligibility Test for appointment to such academic positions as that of an assistant professor. National Eligibility Test as known to most of us is an examination through which the post graduate students in different subjects and streams gain eligibility to apply for various teaching and research positions in the varsities and IITs. 

In the wake of the declining standards in the higher education, qualifying NET was made mandatory by the University Grants Commission in 2009, together with a dynamic and consistently good academic record for appointment to assistant professor positions which was upheld by the supreme court.  A ruling was also given in favor of the candidates registered for Ph.Ds before 2009 by exempting them from the requirement of NET, subject to certain conditions of standard and excellence.

Notwithstanding the pile of degrees or the pool of research publications, this examination serves as the yardstick for determining the threshold level of competency for teaching at the university or college level. The touchstone test of this competitive exam is proved by the fact that its patent holder is always a Ph.D holder but the reverse is not true. With the ready references of rulings substantiated by the  clarifications from the UGC, the supreme court, the higher education and the like, one wonders why the JKPSC is waiting endlessly for the Jammu and the Kashmir universities for their say in the matter. This is not a bill lying on the presidents table to be a law but a law waiting for its implementation, the sooner the better. 

What to expect from the state varsities which don’t mind getting ridiculed by the repeated writs imposed on their non­NET teaching selections. It is an open secret that they commit a brazen violation of rules to favor their sons in blood, in law and in affiliation. It is not only a duty but now a moral obligation for the JKPSC to display the selection lists without any further delay. Decide today, if the merit is to prevail

To Mr. Geelani and the likes let me answer from their book of belief. As narrated by Ali Ibn Talib that if a person is left with only two choices of zulm and kufr, he should opt for the later, which we are opting for to get rid of the nepotism facilitated by the corruption scams sponsored by the natives over the years. The saying of our beloved prophet (S.A.W) that there is no bigger atrocity inflicted on a person than spoiling his abilities, also substantiates my argument. 

Then follows the beautiful couplet of Faiz Ahmad:

duniya ne teri yaad se begana kar diya

tuj se b dilfarabe hain gamm rozgar kay.

There is no rationale in keeping hostage the burning issues concerning the youth for want of a solution due to the disputed status of the state. Qualifying the British ICS examination didn’t make Ambedkar a lesser Indian but the greatest Dalit.

 

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