NEET ( National Eligibility cum Entrance Test ), as proposed by the central government, from the academic year 2014 will be the exam for all students who aspire to pursue a career in medicine or dentistry. This decision by the central government was well received by most of the states in the country. A nation wide common entrance would give all the students a fair shot at the exam relieving their restriction from applying to certain number of institutions only.
The preamble of our constitution says ” Equality of status and opportunity”. If taken at face-value, this applies to all aspects of life, including education. Thus the constitution says, education in India should be given to all its sons and daughters with equal rights.
No! In India we have different boards which provide education to the students in India namely ICSE, CBSE which are common throughout the country. Apart from this, each state has its own board and matriculation syllabus. These boards vary significantly in their standard, complexity and exposure which creates a major difference in the educational status of students. We all know that a student from ICSE board has a better chance to crack the competitive exams than a student in state board, who has a slender chance.
Is it fair to have a common exam when we have such a vast difference among students in their teaching and learning formats and acquired skills? Making them appear for an exam which would prove very tough to crack to certain group of students than the others?I think it is better to conduct such an exam only after every child in our country is receiving a common text-book to pursue his studies. Equality will be maintained when the child studying in an government school receives the same education as that of a child in a Public school.
This would finally satisfy the words in our Preamble of equality in education which would in turn strengthen equality in employment and status. A race is fair if and only if the starting line is same for all the the participants. Hence an exam like NEET which would decide the future of millions and millions needs a better social and educational setup before being implemented.
About the Author: Ravishankar Kanna is a student at KMC Mangalore. He is in second year MBBS.