Parents refuse to cow down to NEET diktat

Parents aggrieved by the Supreme Court decision to make the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) the sole gateway to MBBS admissions are knocking at all possible doors, hoping for reinstatement of the state Common Entrance Test (CET). While students have already begun preparing for phase II of NEET, to be conducted in July, their parents have are conducting protest marches to ensure that their voices are heard.

Yesterday, parents met state education minister Vinod Tawde
Yesterday, parents met state education minister Vinod Tawde

Early on Saturday, a group of parents met Education Minister Vinod Tawde at his residence. Later, they attended a meeting with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray. A group of parents will head for Delhi on Monday to meet officials from the education department. In the meanwhile, protests continue at different places across the state.

One parent, Ajay Gupta, who met Tawde, said, “He assured us that the government is trying to help. Thackeray, too, showed his support. We do not know who will help and who won’t, but we are leaving no stone unturned.”

Another parent, Saloni Shahstri, said, “The SC’s decision is going to be advantageous for those who are from CBSE and have prepared for AIPMT (the All-India Pre-Medical Test), which is now NEET phase I. Students from state boards —not just Maharashtra, but several other states — are at a great disadvantage.”

Crucial meeting
Meanwhile, Tawde announced that the Centre had called for a meeting on Monday of education ministers from all states. “We will discuss what options can be made available for medical aspirants after the NEET mandate by Supreme Court. We will also find out if the Centre can issue an ordinance to bring a change in the current situation.” He added that he planned to raise the issue with the President.

Sarkari coaching for NEET
The state government plans to take help of Doordarshan and other TV channels to telecast an hour-long special educational show dedicated to NEET every day. It will have educationists and experts discussing the curriculum. At the end of each week, students will be allowed to ask questions.

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