New Delhi: Once in a while, we come across something truly surreal and bizarre. The do’s and don’ts for candidates who appeared for National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), appears to top the ridiculous list. Many aspirants who appeared for NEET for the first time on Sunday, faced a weird situation in parts of Tamil Nadu, with some even forced to resize the sleeves of their shirts and abandon their footwear to meet the norms.
In a shocking incident, some female students were allegedly told by the invigilators to remove their top innerwear and change their jeans to adhere to the dress code for the exam as prescribed by the CBSE.
Candidates who appeared for the examination at TISK English Medium School at Kovvappuram, Kerela the girls were asked to remove dresses with metal hooks or buttons.
“It is shocking that my daughter had to undergo such an ordeal and remove her top innerwear to appear for the examination but there was no other option and she was forced to do so,” said Renuka, mother of a girl who appeared for the exam in Delhi.
“I am a teacher and I know the psychology of the teenagers; this will definitely affect their confidence, and we are thinking of taking legal measures,” she added.
The girl said though she appeared for the examination after undergoing coaching in Thrissur for one year, the incident shattered her. “I am a 19-year-old girl and such incidents shatter us beyond imagination. I don’t know how I appeared for the examination,” she said.
Another parent, Rajesh Nambiar, said his daughter had to change her pair of jeans because it had metal buttons and pockets.
Many girls faced a similar ordeal but both the students and their parents kept quiet, said Nambiar.
Reportedly, girls had to hurriedly take away hair pins, and bands and ornaments like earrings and nose-pin as these accessories were not allowed.
Male candidates were also harassed. Several boys who came to attend the NEET wearing full sleeve shirts were taken aback when they were told that only half-sleeve shirts were allowed in the examination hall. Left with no choice, they had to “customise” it by cutting it to size by using a scissor. Also, some who had come wearing shoes had to dump it and hastily opt for the sandals of their parents. Some who had brought stationary items like pen and pencil had to leave it with their parents.
Had CBSE warned candidates?
The Central Board of Secondary Education, which organises the exam, had warned candidates. It had given a list of do’s and don’ts as part of measures to prevent malpractices.
The don’ts included big buttons, brooches and high-heeled shoes as regards female candidates and kurta-pyjama for male aspirants. Mobile phones and gadgets like blue tooth devices were also barred. The Do’s included ‘bring admit card’, ‘reach on time’ at the exam centre with ‘only the required documents.’
However, asking girls to take off their inner-wears, forcing boys to cut off sleeves, etc, meant taking security measures to a new, unacceptable level.
Cheating despite unbelievable security measures did take place. Police on Sunday arrested five persons including two medical students here for allegedly making an attempt to leak question papers of the NEET from Patna. Police also seized mobile phones, various equipment and pick van from the arrested persons.
Over 11 lakh MBBS and BDS aspirants on Sunday appeared for NEET examination at over 1,900 centres in 103 cities across the country.
This is the second year of its implementation after it was revived last year by a Supreme Court order.
While last year it was conducted in two phases, this year the test was held on one day. CBSE, that conducts the test, has seen a 40 per cent rise in the number of aspirants this year. While some students are worried about the difficulty level of the test, most are hoping for a smooth admission process that will follow.