The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked the school principal to tender an apology to the female student who was “forced to strip” by the staff who frisked candidates ahead of the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET) conducted on May 7 in Kannur, Kerala.
But the board maintained that the protocol of frisking was a necessity following the cheating scandal of all India pre-medical and dental test (AIPMT) of 2015.
The board blamed the incident on a few overzealous female staff of the exam center and expressed regret for the inconvenience faced by the candidate.
“The board would further sensitize the frisking staff to obviate such incidences in future,” the CBSE said in a press release. The board also emphasized that the 6.42 lakh female candidates registered for NEET 2017 across the country had a smooth examination.
“CBSE would take all necessary measures to ensure that students appear for examination in relaxed mood without compromising the sanctity of the examination at the same time”.
It also said that dress regulations came into force after police reported attempts to use micro bluetooth-enabled devices hidden in the ears and inner wear of the candidates during the conduct of AIPMT in 2015.
“The Supreme Court of India directed CBSE to develop mechanism for fair and transparent conduct of examination. In compliance, CBSE issued the “guidelines for frisking and dress code” of the candidates appearing in the re-conduct of AIPMT 2015, which was appreciated by stakeholders and also by the Supreme Court of India. The same guidelines are followed by CBSE in NEET 2016 and 2017 as well,” the board said.
The strict adherence to the board’s anti-cheating dress code for candidates appearing for the NEET-UG for BDS and MBBS has come in for criticism after several students were asked to remove their head scarves, nose-pins and cut sleeves of their tops.
A student in Kannur was asked to remove her bra as it had a metal hook, while another was forced to pluck out a metal button from her jeans.
More than 1, 50,000 invigilators, 3500 external observers, 490 CBSE officials and 10,000 police personnel were deployed at the exam centres across the country. The overall attendance in NEET 2017 exam was approximately 95% with highest appearance of 97.10% in Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir).