NEET 2019 National Eligibility cum Entrance Test
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Last Updated: 18th Jul, 2019
5th May 2019

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Reality Check on admissions through NEET

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By: Kanishk on June 17, 2019

Last year, around 85% of candidates were admitted to private colleges who have secured single digit marks in at least one subject. In some colleges qualifying percentile for NEET being kept as low as 50 percentiles were given admissions for the MBBS course. Some Students who scored single digit marks in physics or chemistry out of 180 in the entrance exam got admission in the medical colleges in Punjab alone last year.

Among them, even some students scored zero mark, while some students even with negative marks in one subject managed to get in MBBS.

According to an analysis, the colleges charging the highest fees typically had the poorest average NEET scores of the admitted candidates.

Last year in Punjab, a college named Adesh Medical College, which charges about Rs 68 lakh for the full MBBS course, had admitted more than half the students with a single digit, zero or negative marks in physics or chemistry. These types of college are affiliated to a group-owned university and hence do not come under fee regulation policy. Adesh Medical College had the lowest average NEET score for the admissions among all other medical colleges in the state.

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This was the pattern in the Punjab state, there may be the same or much worse pattern in other states also. Since, neither the Medical Counseling Committee nor the Medical Council of India makes the NEET score, rank, percentile and individual subject mark scored by students admitted each year public, claiming that NEET ensured that all admissions are ‘merit-based' continues.

There is one more issue, in most of the colleges with high fees, despite students with high scores being eligible for the admission, they are forced to drop out as they cannot afford to pay those high fees. With over 7 lakh students qualifying for about 70,000 seats, there were enough students with poor scores but with deep pockets who can take the place of deserving candidates who cannot afford the high fees.

How Bad are Zero or Negative scores

NEET exam consists of 45 objective type questions each in physics and chemistry while 90 questions in biology subject. Each question has four options. A correct answer gets four marks, but a wrong answer leads to a deduction of one mark. Elementary mathematics shows that a person marking the answers at random is likely to end up with about one-fourth of the answers right and the other three-fourth wrong. That would simply mean that a score of about 10 out 180 will consist of 11 right answers and34 wrong answers.

So, a student getting less than 10 is doing worse than a literate person would do if asked to pick up random answers.  Yet, these kinds of student are not just qualifying NEET but also getting into medical college.

Such things were pointed out last year, but the government refused to fix individual subject cut-offs.

Also Read | NEET Score takes off life

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