Neet aspirants get bizarre exam centres

Over 1,500 students from Tamil Nadu were allotted centres far away from home, in Kerala and Rajasthan and even in Haryana.

CHENNAI: A day after the Supreme Court’s order staying the Madras High Court directive to CBSE to set up additional exam centres for Neet aspirants within the state sparked a massive outrage, a generous outpouring of offers of help have come in support of these students.

The state government also came out with an announcement of financial assistance for the students who are to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Neet) outside the state on May 6. Over 1,500 students from Tamil Nadu were allotted centres far away from home, in Kerala and Rajasthan and even in Haryana.

The board’s decision to allot exam centres outside the state instead of giving additional centres to Tamil Nadu has irked the students, parents and the general public. The students claimed that it has jeopardised their preparation for the exams.

S Lakshmi from Tiruchy said that she has been allotted a centre at Ernakulam in Kerala even though she had opted for Tiruchy, Madurai and Chennai as her choice of centres in the application. “My father cancelled the reserved train ticket for Eranakulam after the High Court order on April 27 asking the CBSE to allot centre within the state. Now we have no other option but to take a bus to attend the exam,” she lamented.

M.Sakthi from Municipal Girls Higher Secondary School in Kallanai in Tirunelveli district is the daughter of a flower vendor. “I have attended NEET one month crash course and was confident of doing well in the exam. But I was allotted exam centre near Ernakulam and I have no idea about the place. So, I am planning to go there tomorrow to find the location of my exam centre,” she said. She added that allotment of exam centres created stress and affected her preparation.

Ravikumar from Tirunelveli said it's a conspiracy by the Central Board of Secondary Education to thwart the NEET preparations of Tamil Nadu students. “My nephew is preparing for NEET and confident of scoring well in the exam. But he is upset with the allotment of exam centre in outside the state,” he said. “Of 65 students who studied in a particular coaching centre in Tirunelveli, 45 students were allotted exam centres in Kerala,”he added.

Another candidate Subhash from Kadayam was allotted the NEET centre in Rajasthan. “He left yesterday for Rajasthan to write the NEET exam,” his friends told this paper.

CBSE officials said the board has accommodated students as much as possible within the state. "This year around 1.10 lakh students from the state have applied for the NEET exam which is around 30% increase compared to last year. We have accommodated 1.07 lakh within the state. Around 1,500 students were allotted exam centres outside the state," they claimed.

“The state government should immediately depute nodal officers to other states to help the Tamil Nadu students. The students said they could not find accommodation as it was the summer vacation. The government officials should liaison with the Kerala government and find them accommodation,” urged S.Kalimuthu Mylavan, advocate and petitioner in a PIL to the High Court.

“The government's announcement is too little too late. The CBSE has allotted the centres outside the state only to the Tamil Nadu students. The board has said it has accommodated exam centres as per the choice of the candidates in all other states. It is clearly indicating discrimination against the students from Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Tamil Nadu political parties including DMK, PMK, Left parties, MDMK and Congress expressed their anguish over the allotment of the centres outside the state. DMK working president MK Stalin condemned both the Centre and the state government over the issue and asked the state government to help the students travelling to other states. CPI (M) state secretary K Balakrishnan led a protest outside the Regional CBSE office at Anna Nagar and was arrested along with his party cadres.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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