Akshay Narayan, a 16-year old MBBS aspirant, on Monday said he will not appear for the All India Pre-Medical Entrance Test (AIPMT) again after the Supreme Court cancelled the May 3 examination over allegations of large-scale irregularities.
In a ruling that will affect the future of at least 6.5 lakh candidates, the apex court also directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to conduct a fresh test in four weeks.
Students and those affected by the developments were mostly disheartened by the decision taken by the SC and think it will not guarantee that some won't cheat yet again.
Most dismayed students, like Narayan, pointed out the time frame stipulated by the apex court will not be enough to prepare for the re-test and vented out their frustration that a majority of them are being made to pay for the crime committed by a few.
But there were a few who say it will send a strong message to those who were in the wrong and urged the CBSE to ensure that they take all precautionary measures to prevent such irregularities.
"Just like it was for me, this is not going to be a great news for countless friends of mine," said Narayan.
"While I am sure a few are happy, a majority of students are going to find it tough. There is also the question of the difficulty of the new paper. It has been a month since the AIPMT got over. Recollection in four weeks is not going to be easy. Students who do not perform well this time will definitely create problems," he added.
Bochu Vikas, a final year student at Vellore's Christian Medical College, echoed Narayan's thoughts.
"Firstly, it is really sad that someone had to leak or cheat. Other than those who violated the exam process, there are so many others who spent so much time and money, including those who cannot afford coaching classes again. And, finally they have to pay the penalty for something that only a bunch of students did," said Vikas.
"A student's performance in an entrance exam is always variable. This is very unfair to all students. This is not the fault of the system or the board, but students themselves," he added.
Aishwarya Sekar, a pre-final student at PES Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Andhra Pradesh's Kuppam, recalled the months of preparation before appearing for the exam.
"Four weeks are not adequate to start preparing again. And students who have their hopes pinned on this are going to be thoroughly disappointed," Sekar said.
However, some like Mukta agreed with the apex court's ruling.
"It's a proper decision. Given how the papers were leaked, re-test is a must. Yes, the students will have to toil again," she said.
While Sweta Kumari, an MBBS aspirant from Delhi, felt that the court's decision was correct because reconducting the test would be the best way to ensure fairness, she also pointed out the dilemma of scores of students.
"But why so late! All students have started taking admission in other colleges now," she said.
Delhi resident Ashima Singh said if the government could arrest those responsible for the alleged irregularities, it would send a stronger message and such offences will not be repeated.
While still others, like Gagan Singh, held the CBSE responsible for the situation.
"It is a shame that incompetent CBSE is responsible for jeopardising the future of lakhs of students. HRD [ministry] should intervene and not only reprimand CBSE but also ensure that institutes that conduct entrance exams should be competent enough," said Singh, a student from Lucknow.
He also pointed out that the Indian education system is in "shambles and it requires a complete overhaul."
Minutes after the apex court's decision, #AIPMT became one of the top trending topics on Twitter and students started venting their disappointment.
Here are a few of those tweets:
I have no wonder why CBSC folks used to shine in #AIPMT? I used to study literally 18+ hours to match the score! I did not cheat!— Shiv-Ram Rajya! (@asli_india) June 15, 2015
SC cancels the #AIPMT. Blessing in disguise for 6.3 lakh Medical Aspirants. Choose an alternate profession now. Dont waste your life.— shirish narsapur (@shirishmn) June 15, 2015
Dear PM, World tours band karo aur apne desh ki halat dekho. #AIPMT— EmranAli™ (@BoyTurnedMan) June 15, 2015
Screwed up examinations and top of that sky high reservations and one wonders why there's brain drain.— Parnini (@BrownEyedWords) June 15, 2015
Living in this country is sometimes such a joke. First, you deal with 3000 seats for 6 lakh people. Then you deal with paper leaks. #AIPMT— Risha (@LivingInPajamas) June 15, 2015