Now, MARD signs up for a fairer NEET-II

May 13, 2016, 07:25 IST | Pallavi Smart

While the association finds the SC verdict irreversible, it is trying for inclusion of CET curriculum in the national-level exam and regulation of coaching centres

In the fight against Supreme Court’s verdict mandating National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has also entered the fray. Though the association believes that the verdict is irreversible, it is trying arduously to get medical aspirants some justice.

Parents and teachers protest in Borivali against implementation of NEET this year. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Parents and teachers protest in Borivali against implementation of NEET this year. Pic/Nimesh Dave

The association is addressing two issues: First, inclusion of Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MH-CET) curriculum in the NEET phase II exam scheduled on July 24 and second, to ensure coaching centres do not exploit vulnerable children and parents.

Dr Sagar Mundada, President, MARD
Dr Sagar Mundada, President, MARD

MARD strongly feels that it is not possible for students to prepare for a completely new curriculum in just two months and has come up with an online petition requesting the administration let this year’s NEET-II have 75% MH-CET curriculum.

President of MARD, Dr Sagar Mundada, said, “The SC has already given its verdict. Now, our demands have to be practical and so we are asking for a flexible curriculum. For NEET phase II, CET syllabus can at least be given 75% weightage. It is draconian to expect students to study an entirely new curriculum in just two months. Hence, we have begun this petition online.” Simultaneously, MARD has also registered its grievance with the Prime Minister’s office.

No encashing anxiety
While stressed children and parents are flocking to coaching institutes for the crash courses they are offering, MARD has written to the state education department asking them to regulate the centres so that nobody gets fleeced.

“We have written a letter to the education minister to regulate coaching institutes for the medical entrance examination, at least for this season. As soon as the SC’s verdict was out, these institutes began advertising and promoting their crash courses and overcharging parents for it. This exploitation has to stop,” said Mundada.

The parent brigade
This brigade has been unstoppable since the moment SC pronounced its decision. After holding a silent protest on Wednesday in Vile Parle, the next in the series occurred in Borivali, where again over 200 parents of medical aspirants stood quietly holding placards. Savita Shah, a parent present at the protest yesterday, said, “We parents will continue doing all that we can to reinstate CET. Children’s preparation of two years can’t go to waste like this. The state government has to take a stronger stand.”

They have also started collecting funds for the legal expenses they might incur in case they find a legal way out of this mess.

Priya Shah, a medical aspirant’s parent, said, “Parents are coming out in large numbers to support our movement. We have to do this for the children who have spent two years preparing for CET and appeared for it too but now it has been canceled.”

Another parent Neville Cooper, while talking about their fight, said, “This is complete injustice towards children. It is crazy to implement it from this year when even children living in cities are finding it difficult to complete the curriculum despite all the help from tutors. How are they thinking that it is possible for students from rural areas?”

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