Crucial File on New NEET Norms Goes Missing; Know More
The government’s decision to change the admission criteria for admission to Medical and Dental programs from percentage to percentile had enabled the less meritorious students to get admission into the colleges. This decision has also helped the private medical and dental colleges, as the rich students who were declared qualified in the NEET examination bought the available seats in the colleges.
However, it seems that the file related to this decision has gone missing.
‘File goes missing’
In response to the RTI query filed by lawyer cum activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya in December 2018, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has said that the important file related to the decision mentioned above went missing.
In view of this, Ashish filed a petition under the RTI Act and requested for the copies of file notings, note sheets, and other correspondences from the beginning to the end, based on which the decision was taken to change the system of admission from percentage to percentile to prepare merit of successful candidates for admission to the Medical and Dental colleges through NEET.
Mr. Bhattacharya has also asked the council whether any change was applied in the provisions of the Medical Council Act to change the criteria of admission to medical colleges or not.
In response to the RTI filed by Mr. Ashish Bhattacharya, the Board of Governors in supersession of MCI said that since the files related to change in the criteria of admission to dental or medical colleges from percentage to percentile system is not traceable, so, the information or the documents asked cannot be provided.
Police complaint insists file “deliberately misplaced”
Mr. Ashish Bhattacharya demanded an FIR to be registered against the Medical Council of India for investing and tracing the missing government file and records in the office of MCI as it is related to the national interest.
Mentioning the RTI application filed against the MCI and the response received, Mr. Bhattacharya said that he understands that the concerned file has been misplaced deliberately in order to restrict passing of the information to the complainant about several illegalities and irregularities involved in determining the merit of candidates for selection to the Medical and Dental colleges approved by MCI through NEET. He also said that the related document is a govt. property and it needs to be traced out in the national interest.
The lawyer-cum-activist has also demanded the identification of the custodian of the files and documents in order to reconstruct the files by recollecting the documents from the concerned authorities.
Percentile system enabled non-meritorious students to take admission
The petition filed by Mr. Ashish Bhattacharya is pretty important because of the introduction of the percentile system and the scrapping of the percentage system. The percentile system which came into existence in order to keep the non-meritorious students out from the list actually supported the entry of non-meritorious students to the Medical and Dental Colleges.
This illegal activity was evident during the NEET admission procedure. Till 2015, the cutoff for admission to medical and dental colleges was 50% for candidates belonging to the General Category and 40% for reserved category candidates.
With the implementation of NEET from 2016, the cutoff for admission was changed to 50 percentile for General Category candidates and 40 percentile for Reserved Category candidates. This implies that the top 50% students belonging to General Category and top 40% candidates from Reserved Category will also become eligible for admission to Medical and Dental Colleges even if their marks are less than 50% and 40%, respectively.
After NEET, qualifying marks reduced incessantly
Till 2015, candidates belonging to General Category were required to score at least 360 marks out of 720 in order to qualify in the examination. However, from 2016, the qualifying marks have dropped shockingly.
In 2016, the cutoff for General Category students dropped to 148 marks, which implies that students scoring only 20.8% aggregate were able to qualify the examination. Whereas, for Reserved Category, the cutoff dropped to 118 marks, i.e., only 16.3% aggregate. The qualifying marks further reduced in 2017, for a candidate belonging to General Category, only 131 or 18.2% aggregate were required to get shortlisted and Reserved Category candidates were required to score 107 or 14.8% aggregate in the examination.
In the year 2018, the qualifying marks reduced further to 119 or 16.5% for General Category candidates and to 96 or 13.33% for Reserved Category students.
Percentile system guaranteed a jackpot for private colleges
Almost everyone including academics and the educationists criticized this percentile system. They say that this system is basically allowing the non-meritorious students to get shortlisted to pursue the Medical Education which in turn is deteriorating the quality of doctors in our country.
The total number of Medical seats available in India is around 60,000, however, the number of students qualifying in the examination is almost 10 times more, so, this basically favors students having deep pockets to purchase a seat in the private medical institutions. Thus, the change in the system from percentage to percentile doesn’t benefit the economically weaker students.