Most students were appreciative that the authorities had gone so far to ensure no foul-play occurred during the crucial entrance exam.

Despite stringent security for NEET a few students unhappy with anti-cheating checks
news Exam Sunday, May 07, 2017 - 16:12

Ahead of Sunday’s NEET exam for medical courses across the country, there was a simmering sense of anxiety about the stringent security rules imposed to prevent cheating. The all-India exam being conducted in 104 cities and towns across the country saw elaborate arrangements including police deployment, metal detectors and physical frisking of candidates.

Among the many things students were not allowed, according to the NEET guidelines, were dark-coloured clothing, full-sleeve shirts, closed shoes, big buttons, badges or brooches. They were also issued strict guidelines on reporting times, and what materials they could carry with them including for identification. “It seems like the examination centres will be turned into battlefields,” Times of India quoted one parent as saying.

However, barring a few scattered complaints, the conduct of the exam proceeded smoothly in most centres in the south. Some complaints did emerge in parts of Tamil Nadu, where students in some centres were seen having to cut off their shirt sleeves to gain admission to exam halls.

“The problem was that the hall ticket said we must refer to a brochure for rules. This was written in English. How are Tamil medium student supposed to understand? Even if they did, they had to have access to the internet to see the brochure online. Clearly, they couldn't access it and wore long-sleeve shirts. They are already tensed for the exam, and in addition to this, they are made to cut their sleeves and go through unnecessary processes. It will really rattle anybody before such an important exam,” 18-year-old Jeeva from Salem told The News Minute.  

However, most students and parents appreciated the security arrangements put in place to ensure that the NEET took place in the fairest means possible.

"I did not have any problem with the restrictions. I found it fair instead. It was like any other exam," said N Sanaka, who wrote the exam at DAV Kukatpally in Hyderabad.

"The rules have been made to avoid cheating. The students who had prepared well did not have issues with it. Moreover the rules and regulations were clear, and I don’t think people should have any problem with that.  It was all fair for the students who prepared well,” said Mohammad Yousuf, whose brother Faizal attempted the exam at the Indus International School in Hyderabad.

"The rules were all made clear last year and it was even mentioned in the hall ticket. These rules exist throughout the country and so there is no reason to complain. All these things have been put in force to prevent any sort of cheating in the examination hall. Students should be thankful that authorities are ensuring that it is a fair examination," said Nandhakumar, a member of the Parent-Teacher Association for Matriculation Schools in Chennai.

Many pointed out that while there was some confusion during the first edition of NEET, this time around, the rules were clarified well in advance and students were prepared for them.

"At our coaching centres and in our school, we had special classes to explain the rules of the NEET. We even got instructions written in both English and Malayalam, so we had no difficulties as happened earlier," said Niranjana Pradeep, a student who attempted the exam in Thiruvananthapuram.

Others observed that while the rules were stringent, invigilating authorities were professional and courteous in administering them. "The checking was done by female teachers for girls, so that was not a problem. They were not arrogant. The rules were to prevent cheating in examinations, so it was actually good," said Rose Maria, who wrote the exam in Ernakulam. 

 

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