The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health will soon resume the discussion of conducting the medical entrance exam – NEET – twice a year. The matter was first discussed last year under the leadership of former Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, although a consensus has not been reached on it yet.
While there is a growing demand to conduct medical entrance exams twice a year to ensure that it is not a ‘make or break’ test based on just one day’s performance. The demands have intensified after medical aspirants reported several suicides. A committee set up by the Tamil Nadu government to assess the social and economic impacts of NEET also highlighted that the exam has given rise to a coaching culture, due to which more children from affluent families are appearing for the exam.
The committee also highlighted that Students enrolled in MBBS courses through NEET have performed poorly Compared to those enrolled on the basis of class 12 marks.
While there is support for conducting exams at times, there are also concerns. Every year over 15 lakh candidates register for the pen and paper-based exam, making it very difficult to conduct, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then There were many controversies in NEET 2021, from cheating to impersonation scandal. Result in PIL and question paper errors among many others. There are concerns about conducting the examination in a fair and authentic manner.
Ministers have also been changed who will be part of the discussion. Even though several deliberations before the leadership change between the two ministries may bring a new perspective, when the next meeting on the matter will take place is not yet known.
It was earlier reported that the education ministry was in favor of conducting the medical entrance exam twice a year, however, no official statement has been issued on the matter yet. The apex body for medical education has also changed with the National Medical Commission (NMC) constituted since the last meeting.