NEET row changes the success definition in Kota; Students focus on alternatives | Education - Hindustan Times
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NEET row changes the success definition in Kota; Students focus on alternatives

By, Jaipur
Jun 14, 2024 08:18 AM IST

NEET scores controversy have made many of the candidates worried about their admission in an medical college due to intense competition for high ranks.

Saurabh returned to his home town in Bihar earlier this week. He will not return to Kota to prepare for his last National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) attempt next year.

NEET row changes the success definition in Kota; Students focus on alternatives(PTI)
NEET row changes the success definition in Kota; Students focus on alternatives(PTI)

"Keya karu wapas jaake? It was my third attempt this year. My marks will never match such a high cut-off. I will prepare from home only for the last attempt. But I will now also apply for under-graduation in Zoology at local colleges. I don't want to waste another year," said the 18-year-old who arrived in Kota three years ago and had never failed to his motivation despite scoring much lower than the cut-off marks in the last two attempts.

While the mounting controversy over this year's NEET scores made many of the candidates worried about their admission in an affordable government medical college due to intense competition for high ranks, the entire row also caused a sheer amount of stress for existing students like Saurabh and freshers who have been preparing for an attempt next year.

A terrific show of high competition, where as many as 67 candidates secured the top position, led many of those students in Kota to either make a decision to stay away from Kota, India's test-prep hub or consider an alternative career option from the beginning.

"I am scared. Though I am not planning to leave Kota at this moment, I am not sure of my prospects in NEET. What if it happens to me also next year? I so want to clear NEET. But, if I don't get to pursue an MBBS course due to any unexpected circumstances, I want to make sure that I get a chance in nursing courses. I will keep this alternative in my hand," said Tanishka Manjhi (16) who arrived in Kota only a month ago from Madhya Pradesh.

Many students, who are hoping for a re-test of NEET-UG 2024 by the NTA considering all the alleged irregularities, are also unsure of returning to Kota.

Ayush Garg (23), one of the 20,000 students who filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court on Monday demanding NTA be asked to quash the exam, took his third attempt and scored 646. She said, "I don't know whether I should return to Kota and start afresh for the next year's attempt or wait a few more days to see if NTA declares a fresh exam. The government should identify the centers where the irregularities took place and conduct a re-test there. It might save my future. It's not possible that as many as 7 students from the same center secure the top rank."

The high scores and allegations of the paper being leaked, and the disclosure by NTA about grace marks have prompted a slew of PILs by the NEET students across the country since the result was published on June 4.

Another petitioner Stuti Saxena (21), meanwhile has also started considering Dental Colleges abandoning her dream to be a general surgeon. “My score was 643 which would have fetched a very high rank any other year. But I finished in 33,000. I have no hope of getting into any good government medical college. My father cannot also afford private college fees. I would rather take any courses I get in any medical college rather than wasting one more year in Kota."

However, the faculties and the counselors of the coaching centers in Kota are viewing the situation as a major shift in the city's environment where the definition of success will be changed forever.

Amit Verma, the Joint Education Director of the Motion Institute said, "Nobody was prepared for this situation. We all are yet waiting for a suitable reply from NTA's end and prompt action by the Supreme Court. However, the current situation has taught the student to always think about an alternative career option. The days of one-dimensional goal-oriented success are over."

Despite motivating the students to ignore the incident and focus on regular studies, many coaching institutes are also planning to prepare the students for a minimum target of 700, putting them into a crisp syllabus, and increasing the number of tests.

"In view of several students, who are coming to us expressing their anxiety over high cut-off marks, we are planning to set their target also at a very high-level from the beginning. They should now eye a minimum score of 700. We are also asking them to be crisp and only focus on the NCERT books instead of any other reference books as most of the questions can be answered from NCERT only which will fetch a high score precisely," said Dr Shobhit Patel, a career counselor and faculty in Motion.

The chief counselor of the Vibrant Academy, Dr Vinayak Pathak also suggested keeping a mental-ability test during the screening for the admission of the students in a coaching center for the preparatory courses.

He said, "Though it's a very primary stage to comment on this matter, it's high time the institutes consider an additional mental ability test during the entrance to select only the ones who will be able to cope with such a high competition. Our academy might also consider increasing the number of class tests and doubt-clearing sessions."

However, another faculty from the Allen, Himangshu Gupta, argued that no change in the teaching or counseling pattern is required considering a situation which is not in anybody's hand.

"The students should be prepared for the toughest situation. But setting the target high might not be solution. The entire NEET row is yet a sub-judice matter. We should not take any decision before the NTA's response."

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