NEET dress code row: NTA constitutes fact finding committee to visit Kollam

Published on Jul 20, 2022 12:37 AM IST

NEET dress code row: NTA constitutes a fact finding committee to visit Kollam to inquire into complaints that girl students appearing for the NEET held on Sunday were forced to remove their innerwear before entering the examination center.

NTA, which conducts the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), on Tuesday constituted a fact-finding committee to look into complaints that girl students were forced to remove their innerwear before entering an examination centre in Kollam district, (Keshav Singh/Hindustan Times)(HT_PRINT)
NTA, which conducts the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), on Tuesday constituted a fact-finding committee to look into complaints that girl students were forced to remove their innerwear before entering an examination centre in Kollam district, (Keshav Singh/Hindustan Times)(HT_PRINT)

NEET dress code row: The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Tuesday constituted a fact finding committee to visit Kollam to inquire into complaints that girl students appearing for the National Eligibility- cum- Entrance Test (NEET) held on Sunday were forced to remove their innerwear before entering the examination center.

The committee, which has been formed following the directions of the ministry of education, has been tasked to “ascertain all the facts about the incident on the spot from stakeholders present at the examination center at that time”.

The alleged incident came to light after the father of a girl who appeared for an exam for undergraduate medical courses on Sunday lodged a police complaint accusing authorities at the exam center in Kerala’s Kollam of ordering his daughter to remove her innerwear before entering the hall. He also alleged that many girls faced a similar treatment at the examination Center at the Marthoma Institute of Technology in Ayyur.

Kerala higher education Minister R Bindhu also termed the incident “inhuman and shocking” and urged the Center to intervene. NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma wrote to the NTA, seeking an independent inquiry into the allegations.

Even as the NTA, an autonomous organization under the ministry of education, had on Monday issued clarification asserting that no such incident came to its notice, the union education ministry on Tuesday asked the agency to send a team at the spot.

Ministry’s directions come after public representatives from Kerala met Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and Kerala higher education minister also sent a letter to him requesting the union minister to intervene

“In view of the above, the Ministry of Education has asked the NTA to ascertain all the facts about the incident on the spot from stakeholders present at the Centre at that time. Accordingly, a Fact Finding Committee has been constituted by the NTA to ascertain the facts in detail. Further action will be taken based on the report of the Fact Finding Committee,” the ministry said in a statement.

In a statement issued on Monday, the NTA said that the dress code for NEET does not permit any such activity alleged by the parent of the candidate. "The code provides for ensuring the sanctity and fairness of conducting the Examination, while observing sensitivity towards the Gender/Religious/ Cultural/Regional sensitivities involved in frisking/ biometric of candidates," the agency said.

The agency said that it had sought comments from the exam centre’s superintendent, the independent observer as well as the city coordinator immediately. “All three of them, among other things, have stated that they did not find any such incident happening at the centre…” the agency said.

According to NEET (UG) 2022 guidelines, “any ornaments/metallic items” are banned at examination centers. However, the guidelines do not describe the nature of such items in detail.

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