Chennai: Even as parents and students are nervously waiting to know whether Tamil Nadu will get exempted from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the details of last year’s results may have come as a rude shock to them as only 41% students qualified to study medicine, the lowest among the southern states, as per a RTI query. The neighbouring state Kerala has topped the qualifying percentage with 80% of them having qualified to study medicine last year. From the state, 52,208 (79.77%) have qualified.
From Telangana 8,813 (77.08%) candidates have qualified and Andhra Pradesh 10,917 (72.93%), Karnataka 18,344 (71.85%) qualified for medical courses. The qualifying criterion for "other category" was fixed as 50th percentile and for the rest the qualifying criteria was 40th percentile (50th percentile means of all the candidates who appeared for exam, 50% of them had scored less than 145 marks last year. So, to qualify one has to score at least 145 out of 720 marks).
However, when asked for the board-wise breakup of the qualified candidates, the CBSE, in its reply, said that it is not maintained by the board. It also forwarded another query related to the details of the students admitted in 15% all India quota in MBBS and BDS to Medical Council of India.
"NEET exam requires separate preparation. Our classroom coaching will be of no help to the students who prepare for the common medical entrance test," said P.Swaminathan, secretary, SRV schools in Namakkal and Tiruchi districts. The SRV schools are reputed to send more students to MBBS course with the current admission procedure based on plus two marks.
P.B. Prince Gajendrababu, general secretary, State Platform for Common Schools System, said, "Only the students who have got money and time to spend for coaching classes will be able to qualify. That’s why the performance of the Tamil Nadu students is poor."
"In Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the NEET coaching is a big market. There are more coaching centres in these states and importance is being given to competitive exams. But, only those who can afford the exorbitant fee can join these programmes. Students without money cannot join these programmes even if they have aspirations, attitude and aptitude skills," he said.
He further said, "The high profile schools in Tamil Nadu now have entered an agreement with the coaching centres for NEET and JEE coaching. The eligible and poor students will opt out of the race."
He also urged the President to give his assent for the Tamil Nadu act exempting the state students from the NEET exam "The students from Tamil Nadu were not trained for entrance exams as there was no entrance exam from 2007 in the state. And the NEET exam was suddenly imposed on them," said Dr G.R. Ravindranath, Doctors’ Association for Social Equality.
While batting for exempting Tamil Nadu students from NEET, he said that the students should also be encouraged to participate in the national level examinations. "Of 2 lakh seats in various central government institutions, there is not even one percent representation from the state."