No test facility at Safdarjung, students miss NEET counselling
Students of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) with hearing disability, who needed certification from a board of doctors at Safdarjung Hospital to be allowed to sit for their counselling, was unable to get it even as the counselling process started on Wednesday.
This was because of the speech discrimination test was unavailable at the hospital.
Safdarjung is one of the 10 centres that have been designated by the central government for creating a board to issue disability certificates, allowing the candidates to appear for the counselling.
It is the only centre in Delhi that issues these certificates, and one of the three centres in North India. The other two are SMS Medical College in Jaipur, Rajasthan and Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh.
The students already have disability certificates from their respective states that need to be verified by the board.
“My daughter lost her hearing a couple of years ago, we already have a permanent disability certificate that says she has 56% disability. So, I do not know why I need to get a certificate again for her to sit for the counselling. For at least 10 days, I have been travelling to the hospital from Jind every morning at 9 am, except for Sunday. A couple of tests were done initially, but they said another test was required and every day just asked me to wait,” said the father of one of the students who needed the certificate, on condition of anonymity.
Another student, who had 60% hearing disability, travelled with his family from Indore, Madhya Pradesh for the certificate. “What can we do? We cannot go back home. We applied for the certificate as soon as the NEET results came in, by now we would have received the certificate we thought. But today, my son missed the counselling because we don’t have the certificate. And, he will not be able to get into a good medical college if we do not get the certificate before June 24, when this round of counselling will end,” said the father of the student.
The hospital has been in touch with other government hospitals in the city to get the test done.
“This particular test was added just this year; we do not have the required equipment, which helps us test how well the student understands different words. The hospital administration got in touch with Lady Hardinge Medical College, Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, and Maulana Azad Medical College, which did not have the equipment. AIIMS does have the test and we are trying to get the students tested there,” said a senior doctor from the hospital, who is aware of the issue.
This delay is not limited to Delhi. “I know students who went to Kolkata and Mumbai, but did not get their disability certificates and will miss the first round of counselling. Another student who went to Chandigarh had to go to the hospital for days to get the certificate. And this has happened before too. Now, my question is why is the second test needed? They already have disability certificates from their respective states. I have filed a PIL in the matter. Sadly, the next hearing is in July so these students will not receive the benefits,” said Dr Satendra Singh, Associate Professor of Physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences.