NEET Disadvantages Poor Who Cannot Afford Coaching: Madras HC

The court is hearing multiple cases where impersonators were paid and used to pass the NEET for UG medical courses.

2 min read
A view of the Madras High Court building.

Months after investigations revealed an impersonation scam to write and pass the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the Madras High Court has observed that the test disadvantages poor students.

According to reports, the court on Monday, 5 November, asked why the test to determine eligibility for undergraduate medical courses in the country, was not scrapped.

A bench of justices N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan was informed by the Tamil Nadu government that only 48 of the 3,081 students who passed the exam had not undergone private coaching for the exam. The court reportedly asked why the present central government, which rolled back the programs of the previous government, did not scrap NEET.

CBI Asked to Reply on Whether They Have Received Complaints of Impersonation

On learning that private coaching institutes charged anywhere between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh for coaching, the judges observed that the doors of medical colleges were closed to poor students.

Further, the judges said that medical education should be equal for all students. On the recent medicos strike that Tamil Nadu witnessed, the court expressed shock that doctors, who work round-the-clock, were only making Rs 57,000 when government teachers made more.

The CBI has been asked to reply on whether they have received any complaints of impersonation regarding NEET.  The matter has been posted for hearing on 7 November.

The court was hearing a petition filed by S Dheeran of Coimbatore who had demanded a proper counselling procedure for management quota seats. The government was impleaded into the petition later.

The Impersonation Scam

Earlier, the court ordered the thumb impressions from medical colleges in the state to be matched with those submitted to the National Testing Agency (NTA). The CB-CID arrested Venkatesan and his son (a medical student) from Tirupati on 26 September after they went missing from their house in Chennai.

The student had allegedly secured an MBBS seat in Theni Medical College after someone else wrote and cleared NEET exam for him in Mumbai. The scam came out in the open after the dean of the college carried out an internal probe re-verifying the documents of the first-year students based on an e-mail tip-off he received regarding the scam.

The court had also impleaded the Income Tax Department in the investigation, since raids in coaching centres in Bengaluru and Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu, had seized 'huge cash' amounts.

(This story was originally published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)

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