90% who cleared NEET took coaching: Tamil Nadu study

Following the implementation of NEET, the committee found, there had been a 9.74% fall in admissions among first-generation graduates, 12.1% among rural candidates and 10.45% among candidates with parent incomes less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.

THE Justice A K Rajan Committee appointed by the M K Stalin government on the ‘Impact of NEET on Medical Admissions in Tamil Nadu’ found that 90% of those who cleared NEET in 2020 in the state had taken coaching, while nearly three-fourths (71%) were repeat applicants.

The study commissioned by the state government, which introduced a Bill in the Assembly last week seeking exemption for Tamil Nadu students from the centralised medical entrance exam, said NEET was successful “mainly and predominantly” for the above category of applicants, including those who had gone through a “long-term coaching curve”.

With NEET appearing to favour urban, richer applicants, the committee said it has “created a generation of doctors and teaching faculties from mainly the privileged communities — the affluent, the creamy, the urban genre — who are well away from the grass root realities of the diverse social structure”. It recommended an immediate return to the practice of medical admissions through higher secondary scores.

Noting that this had “aggravated the divide and worsened the medical and healthcare sector”, the report compared admissions from High Human Development Index (HDI) and Low HDI districts. The HDI criteria include life expectancy at birth, educational standards and per capita income.

The committee found that between 2013 and 2021 (NEET was implemented in 2017), the share of high HDI districts (mostly urbanised with access to coaching centres) among successful applicants surged. Ariyalur, one of the most backward districts, for example had a 1.71% share in medical seats in the state pre-NEET, falling to 0.73% post-NEET. On the other hand, high HDI district Chennai’s seat share increased from 3.54% to 10.76%.

Following the implementation of NEET, the committee found, there had been a 9.74% fall in admissions among first-generation graduates, 12.1% among rural candidates and 10.45% among candidates with parent incomes less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.

The study also found a drop in the percentage of science stream students in the post-NEET period, from 43.03% to 35.94%.

While Tamil Nadu has 31 surgical and medical super speciality courses with a total of 413 seats, which is well ahead of most states, the report said the share of state residents in these had been falling as admissions were opened to all-India candidates. “As a result, almost two-thirds of the seats were lost to others,” the study said.

Expressing alarm in the share of those taking repeat NEET entrance, from 8.12% in the pre-NEET period to 71.42% in 2020-21, the study said, “Since learning is lost and test-taking training is focused (upon), the future doctors cannot think but apply their intellectual and reasoning disposition in their profession, and eventually they become an extended machine in the healthcare system.”

The committee said the result was the burgeoning, multi-billion coaching industry, offering “5-year packages, 2-year packages… 2-month crash courses” etc, gaining enough financial muscle to “even interfere in policy matters”.

Source: Read Full Article