Opposition slams Centre over NEET controversy

Members of various student organisations stage a protest against the alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG 2024 entrance exam result, in New Delhi, Monday, June 10, 2024. Photo: PTI.

New Delhi: Opposition leaders have widely criticised the Centre regarding the ongoing controversy surrounding the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), an entrance examination for medical courses. The National Testing Agency (NTA) has faced allegations of irregularities and inflation of marks in the medical entrance exam, leading to heightened scrutiny.
The Congress on Sunday, expressed serious concerns about the integrity of the NTA and how NEET is designed and administered. They expressed hope that the new Standing Committees of Parliament, once constituted, would conduct a thorough review of NEET, NTA, and NCERT.

Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary, questioned whether NEET was discriminatory, particularly affecting students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He also highlighted that other states, including Maharashtra, had raised significant doubts regarding NEET.
"Hopefully, the new Standing Committee(s), when they get constituted, will take up an in-depth review of NEET, NTA and NCERT. This should receive the highest priority," he emphasised.
The Congress had previously urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the issue, advocating for a Supreme Court-monitored forensic probe to ensure the future of numerous young students.

In a related development, the Kerala Congress took to Twitter to share the story of Anitha, a Dalit girl from Tamil Nadu who achieved exceptional scores in her 12th standard but tragically died by suicide after her efforts against NEET were unsuccessful.
"This is the marks card of Anitha, a Dalit girl from Tamil Nadu's Ariyalur district who got 1176/1200 (98%) in her 12th standard but died by suicide after her fight against NEET failed after the Supreme Court dismissed her pleas. Today, when you see candidates who failed in Physics and Chemistry score 705/720 in NEET, you realise how unfair and one-sided the system is. Anitha is a martyr in this fight," the post says.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin condemned NEET as a "scam" and criticised the Centre for defending it, arguing that it goes against students' interests, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds.

Similarly, K T Rama Rao, Working President of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), demanded thorough investigation into NEET, expressing dismay over reports of question paper irregularities and the lack of government action.
Former Human Resource Development (now the portfolio is Education) Kapil Sibal echoed these sentiments, calling for a probe by Supreme Court-appointed officials into the alleged irregularities surrounding NEET. He urged all political parties to raise the issue strongly in the upcoming parliamentary session, criticising the government's silence and dismissing attempts to downplay the controversy.
Sibal also criticised Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for rejecting allegations of paper leak or rigging in the NEET exam, emphasising the need for transparency and accountability in the examination process.
(With PTI Inputs)

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