AK Rajan Report: NEET Privileges The Privileged

The AK Rajan report shows the NEET examination's negative impact on students from rural background, less family income, studying from Tamil-medium.

A K Rajan Report Edited by Updated: Jun 28, 2024, 7:45 pm
AK Rajan Report: NEET Privileges The Privileged

AK Rajan Report: NEET Privileges The Privileged

The recent NEET controversy has taken the country by storm with students and opposition staging massive protests across the country. However, this hasn’t been the first time, many have come forward demanding the cancellation of the NEET exam.

Along with the NEET row, Justice Rajan report is now grabbing the headlines off late. In 2021, a 165-page report was submitted by retired Justice AK Rajan Committee on the impact of NEET. The report stated that the NEET should be eliminated. The High level committee was headed by the retired judge of Madras High Court and eight others, including central and state governments bureaucrats. 

Read also: Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha Adjourned Till July 1 Amid Opposition Demand For Discussion On NEET

Tamil Nadu has been opposing the controversial examination since its introduction in 2017. The report was once again brought into the public domain by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. The state government has now released the report in English as well as in all major Indian languages to help people understand the ills of NEET and why it has been rejected by the state of Tamil Nadu.

The Rajan Committee found that after the implementation of NEET, fewer students from rural areas, those studying in Tamil medium, those from families with lower incomes, and those from Tamil Nadu state board schools secured admission.

Meanwhile, the students from English-medium grabbed more seats compared to the Tamil-medium students. The committee also condemned the culture of coaching claiming that it is gradually replacing the process of ‘learning’, which is essential for the medical aspirants.

The report further highlighted that the implementation of NEET neglects the 12-year school curriculum and the examination only has enabled comparatively low-performing students to get admission to MBBS.

Read also: NEET Row: Education Ministry Seeks Suggestions For Reforms In Examination Process

It aims to disprove the claim that the NEET is meant to free medical aspirants from the burden of multiple entrance examinations, increase transparency in the selection process, and improve the quality of education.

Here are a few major takeaways from the report:

  • Unlike developed countries where a holistic mix of academic and performance indicators are used to evaluate the student’s candidacy, NEET does not follow any of these criteria. As per the report, the MBBS admission in India is solely based on the NEET score a candidate receives which “exceeds all scientific forms and principles of an entrance exam”.
  • The NEET examination has led to the mushrooming of coaching centres which has emerged as a flourishing business. Moreover, the coaching centers have given undue advantages to students from financially and socially privileged families.
  • The selling of seats for exorbitant prices in private medical colleges has led to the degradation of the medical profession and the corporatization of the healthcare sector across the country.
  • Any testing framework being used in admission to higher education should provide validity, predictability, reliability, and equity for all students irrespective of their socioeconomic backgrounds, race, or gender. Meanwhile, such measures are not taken in the case of NEET.
  • The percentage of repeaters who have gained admission through repeated tests has risen from 12.47 in 2016-17 to 71.42 in 2020-21. This indicates that the coaching centers had emerged as the means to be successful in the NEET.
  • Studies have found the students completing Class 12 from CBSE have been securing MBBS admissions at a disproportionately higher rate since its introduction in Tamil Nadu.

Justice Rajan report, therefore, asked the government to bring in a bill to bin the NEET examination and get the President’s assent for the legislation. Among the suggested solutions by the committee, one noteworthy point to be highlighted is reverting to Class 12 marks-based admission to MBBS courses by adopting the normalisation of scores to bring in equality among boards.