Tag Archive: NEET-PG



A patient dies at the OT table. The doctors did what they could do. The head surgeon was good to follow the rules by the book while he carried out the surgery. He has no regrets. He did a good job. Other doctors agree. The operation was done “by the book”. But… the  patients is dead. And the relatives are furious. They want an answer from the doctors.. They hate the doctors. But it doesn’t matter… The doctor is right in his place. And the relatives are in theirs.. But the patient is dead.

Such is the case of NEET.. The lawyers, judges and the whole legal system did a good job. They did what they could do best.. Dramatic arguments. Flowery, nonsensical jargon. “Inevitable” delays. The judgment was long, but, sound and constitutional. Its just that the NEET was the patient, and we are the relatives..

I scurried through the long tedious judgment given by the “Honorable” judges.. All I could make out were as follows:

Religious and minorities are allowed to do whatever they want according to some Article 30. Take their own exams, choose their own students, according to their principles.. And when the question was asked, “To  what  extent  can  professional  education  be treated as a matter coming under minorities rights under Article 30”, respected Mr. Salve replied, “…  a  minority institution may have its own procedure and method of admission  as  well  as selection of students, but such a  procedure  would  have  to  be  fair  and transparent and  the  selection  of  students  in  professional  and  higher educational colleges should  be  on  the  basis  of  merit. The  procedure selected for admission by the minority institution ought not to  ignore  the merit of  students  for  admission  while  exercising  the  right  to  admit students by the colleges aforesaid, as in that event, the  institution  will fail to achieve  excellence. The  said  procedure  should  not  amount  to maladministration.” [point 25]

I found that line quite interesting (the one that I have highlighted in bold). It seemed to me that these judges and lawyers were immune to what was happening outside the Supreme Court..

 One more thing I noticed, although it might not be relevant to this, that most of the articles were cited from the constitution were amended or made eons ago.. 1956, 1964, 1976.. I saw one 1998-2000, but that was about the introduction of NEET, and, well, it is dead now.. Somehow makes me feel archaic.

Another point that caught my eye was Mr. Parasaran’s statement saying,  “the hard reality that emerges is that  private educational institutions are a necessity in the  present-day  circumstances. It is not possible today without them because  the  Governments  are  in  no position to meet the demand, particularly in  the  sectors  of  medical  and technical education, which call for substantial  investments  and  expenses. Mr. Parasaran submitted that  the  impugned  Regulations  were  not  in  the national interest and would only discourage good private institutions  being established by people dedicated to the cause of  providing  health  care  to all sections of the  citizens  of  this  country  and,  in  particular,  the marginalized sections in the metropolitan and rural areas.”[point 56]

Again, I highlighted the points that interested me. Think of it, and you know how pathetic it is. It’s inevitable that private companies work on profit, and high fees. Since Government has failed to fund the most important part of a country, it’s health system.. I have watched respected Dr. Gulati express his concerns on the issue of privatization of healthcare as a primary cause of all the corruption ever since his appearance on Satyamev Jayate, a show that was hosted by Mr. Aamir Khan. But, I don’t see anybody paying much heed to that..

Relevant to this I would also like to quote an article titled “Amartya Sen: India’s dirty fighter“. In it was written the following lines, “.. [Sen and Drèze] argue that India’s overriding preoccupation with economic growth makes no sense without recognizing that human development depends on how that wealth is used and distributed. What’s the purpose of a development model that produces luxury shopping malls rather than sanitation systems that ensure millions of healthy lives, ask Drèze and Sen, accusing India of “unaimed opulence”. India is caught in the absurd paradox of people having mobile phones but no toilets.”

I tried to look for the Financial aspect of the Healthcare and I was amazed to find the data (which I have put in my post “Health in India“. And I am sure that anybody would be shocked to look at the data. Just 1% of GDP invested by Government on health..

And then again, I was also wondering if Mr. Parasaran was talking about these private medical colleges, when he talked about discouraging “good private institutions”..

Inflation and corruption are inherent to a Monetary Based Economy, thus the whole fight seems pointless when seen from that vantage point. To most of us NEET had a promise of something good, but it now has been destroyed under the religious and minority humbug. But that’s fine by me. I mean, even they have their freedom, according to Article 30, or whatever. And using that as a cover, the corrupt private colleges will continue to do all the “business” they have been doing for so long.. And that would of course mean less of students getting selected by merit.. And one may ask, “how is that fair??!!” And the eloquent answer would be, “who said life would be fair!”

And there’s this another argument that MCI is not the proper body to be conducting the exam, because the only things that an MCI can do…..well, are things that it doesn’t do properly anyways, so of course carrying out one unified exam would be asking too much of it. MCI has had a past, with all those private colleges scams, director arrested, etc… So now when MCI wants to do something good, they are not being allowed to. So who is going to conduct the exam? That question stays unanswered..

I agree to one thing though. One cannot remove a faulty system and install another faulty system instead.. NEET may have been a good concept, but the pattern of the exam and the selection process was not proper.. Although people may argue that even CAT and USMLE exams are taken in such a way, but it must be noted that USMLE has 3 steps and CAT has the interviews.. Even these guys don’t solely depend on just the exam. So, NEET is just a half copied, incomplete pattern, for a proper merit based exam, per se..

And there’s another set of arguments that exams on different days may cause a different in markings and thus inappropriate rankings.. Tougher questions on a day may lead to a worse rank and easier on others may lead to better ranks.. This, I think, is a myth. Even USMLE, CAT, Manipal, and many others follow this pattern of online exam.. The Scaling is a bit complicated than one might usually think. Of course, considering the weakness in Mathematics (for most who had opted for bio), statistics could be bothering.. But a look at how CAT does the scoring, perhaps, may give one an idea at the complexity. I remember some even went out to do a survey with the DNB results to find out a co-relation, and never came out with any positive result.. Even I have been a bit skeptic about this method, but Mathematics, I know, is a strong tool, and can prevent any bias by proper use of statistics.. As they say, you are always afraid of what is unknown or incomprehensible to you. I have my faith with mathematics, and I happily let go off the paranoia now. But, like said before, the exam alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

Another argument is what if we miss the day of the exam, there’s no other exam if that exam is missed due to unavoidable circumstances.. Well, I guess the answer to that would be a provision to take the exam on another day, provided valid reasons are put, etc.. But then again these are methods of correcting the NEET system.. These arguments, which SHOULD have been a part of the case, were not. Because the case was about religious and minorities fighting for their freedom and saying how India secularism, unlike American secularism is a “bowl of salad and not a melting pot”.

Of course there’s a set of questions I’d like to ask..

Court in 2010 had announced that NEET will take place around 2011. But then AIIMS said they won’t be able to conduct the test, it was postponed to 2012. Where were these private and minority institutes then? Why hadn’t they put their case then and there? Why wait till the completion of the exam in Nov 2012!!?? And if they had made the case in early 2012, why had the case been transferred and delayed till December 2012? What were they waiting for? Why harass the students? What was the actual motive behind all this hullabaloo?  Economic growth, was it? Empty Swiss accounts probably?

As a medical student, all I want is a fair exam and admission to an institution, private or government, for my higher education. And most would agree with me here. Even if the old system prevails of AIPGMEE and state exams, and each of them had a transparent process of examination and admission, no one would have any problem whatsoever. Its this deficiency of a transparent system at the state and private exam level that has caused this uproar from our side at least, that’s what I believe. It’s true that India faces a shortage of doctors, but how does one solve that issue? Such cases and harassment just make medical students like us wish we just get out of this country, furthermore adding to the deficit. And the quality of medical education just goes down day by day, making us inefficient doctors..

Nonetheless, hoping for a better future.

Peace and out.

Related Link:

NEET: Govt may file review plea

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Zero Momentum, Infinite Mass


Important: This post was based on a news that verdict has been delayed till 2nd July. Chances are that these were rumours. If it is confirmed that the news was a rumour and that results will be declared by next week, this post will be deleted. Thank you. [update: 10th May 6:00 p.m. IST]

It makes you wonder, the level of incompetency of an institution.

90,000 doctors (approximately) have given this “Dream Exam” called the National-Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for post graduates, aka NEET-PG. “Dream Exam”, because it promised the students something that was a rarity before it — transparency and standardization.

The predecessor of this exam was known as AIPGMEE and had been scheduled every year around 1st week of January. NEET-PG, on the other hand, was rescheduled to November, i.e. 2 months earlier. This was nothing short of a harassment to the hard working medical students, who had to re-plan their study schedules to the new timetable!!

But our woes didn’t end there. Soon after the exams, a case was filed against the NEET and the results were postponed indefinitely. The results were due on 27th January 2013, and it’s been over 3 months since. The case still remains short of a verdict! And a torturous 3 months it has been for the medical students. And now that all the hearings are over, word is out that verdict will be on 2nd July 2013!!! Why? Because Honorable Supreme court didn’t take up the case on 9th or 10th May, as had been predicted, and now the court goes for a summer vacation! Seriously!!?? I, a humble medical student of this Incredible country, want to ask you Honorable Supreme court, where exactly is the “Honor” in this? “Justice delayed is justice denied” is not a cliché but a sad truth in this case!

Medical students across the country staged protests for stopping other State exams and saving the NEET. #SaveNEETPG was trended on twitter to create awareness of the issue. Numerous petition were written and signed on the internet. The case that wasn’t being covered by the mainstream media, started getting attention! And there was a glimmer of hope that the verdict would arrive before the court went for the summer vacation. Even the declaration of results of DNB kindled some hope that NEET results were round the corner! But we were all deceived! The case wasn’t taken up on 9th or 10th May. Pleas for interim orders were made. But the Hon’ble CJI  “refused to give interim orders on NEET-PG and the plea was rejected and announced that NEET-PG/UG final verdict will be delivered only on JULY 2,2013”!

What does the court expect us to do till then? Wait? With an abysmal Doctor-patient ratio of 1:1953, the court plans to handicap the country’s hospitals by depriving them of 90000 doctors!?? Aren’t the “Hon’ble” Supreme court and the “Hon’ble” CJI aware of the way they are incapacitating an already handicapped Health care system of the country!? Do these delays in verdict have any well-educated logical reasoning? Or, is it just incompetence? Summer Vacation? Is this a joke? Because it’s definitely not funny. I trust the Court will come up with a good judgment, but I beg them, pray tell the reason for this unwanted, infuriating delay?

Cases in the Supreme courts are moving slower than snail speed, or not moving at all. And all the petitions and pleas, etc. are not even affecting the pace at which these proceedings are taking place! It seems like Supreme court has zero momentum, and an infinite mass!!

Doldrums


Nowadays, people (including friends and family) ask me, “So, what are you up to these days, doctor? Which hospital? Are you a specialist yet?”; and all I can give is a wry smile and tell them about the situation of Indian medical education system and the NEET case..

The above question has entered the category where you don’t ask a woman her age or a man his salary; or, in this case, a doctor about the NEET case/results!

Yesterday I saw a comment on my post by a concerned mother asking me about updates on the NEET-UG case. I gave her a site that I thought would help ease her stress, although in my heart I wanted to tell her to discourage her daughter to enter this profession.. I think most of my peers would agree with me.. Poor girl! She still has time to take a safer and better path! :-\ Such is the discontentment amongst medical students now..

Medical education is tough. Requires a lot of hard work. And its time consuming too! Tell me another graduation course that takes almost 6 years of study.. Most doctors dedicate the best part of  their life to serve the community.. And this is how the government and corporates reward us.

It’s all about money.. All about the profits. It’s no more about the merit or honor or the compassion.. It’s just “good business”. And the business has become so good that every time I see a research by a doctor, I wonder, is this research transparent? Or, is it just another hoax to perpetuate a disease or situation to profit!?  Health is no more the wealth, money is..

If you don’t agree, tell me why should this (30 billion dollar scam) happen?

The idea of NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test) became quite popular amongst most medical students.. It promised something that was a rarity before it — transparency, standardization and increased seats.. Students got bored of the type of questions that were being asked in the AIPGMEE.. Students started studying more for exams.. The exam started becoming more crooked.. And the students started studying much more.. A vicious cycle that had led to the situation where the questions in AIPGMEE didn’t make any sense, and students had stopped going to hospitals for internship and started going to coaching institutes to crack exams.. And then there was the competition.. AIPGMEE just had a percentage of seats from just the government colleges! And there were individual state exams. So, a student had to spend a lot of money and energy on filling numerous forms for entrance to different exams.. And all exams had different standards.. So, one needed to buy specific course/guide books for all these different exams.. And if you have gone through the above link on 30 billion dollar scam, you’d know that corruption was so deep that the exams were not transparent anymore (except AIPGMEE and some others).. So, there were people profiting from every part of this “business”. Be it the politicians’ private hospitals, or be it the authors of so many guide books and their publishers, and also the coaching centers! With NEET, all get stripped out.. The “business” goes kaput! I’d say a serious blow to a lot of jobs! With NEET there’d be one standard exam.. Students won’t need to purchase so many forms and give so many exams. Just one transparent, standard exam.. And since all the colleges in India will have to give all their seats, there’ll be an increase in number of seats and fairer opportunity. I agree, the exam that NEET took this year had very bad questions. But they could become better eventually. I also realized that they were not the usual bookworm questions. They were more practical questions. If NEET could actually inculcate asking such questions, won’t it be good? Students would start going for internship, instead of cramming infinite knowledge for nothing. I think they would produce better doctors..

But then we have the NEET case.. It looks like some institutes are asking for their rights to conduct their own standard of exam and teachings. They are against this national standardization.. Yeah, one has the right to use their own recipe to make their own cake and the right to sell it in the market.. But this is making of doctors we are talking about, not the making of cakes, are we?

OK, FINE!! You filed a case.. Now what? Court is taking it’s sweet time to give a verdict. A verdict was expected on 17th January, but the case is still going on, as of 18th April…. And still no verdict. This article was a call to the Health minister to look at the situation seriously.. But I am yet to see any effect.. But then something amazing happened!! Supreme court to drop the NEET case for a day to take up a rather important and critical (in the most sarcastic of senses) case on banning internet pornography. Check here.

Now there were some bomb blasts in Bangalore, as if the world was not already ending, and that too so close to some political party’s place with elections near.. Damn these terrorists! Don’t they get some other time or some other place! :-\

Anyways, life of most medical students, including me, have entered the doldrums. I, for instance, appeared in an interview out of the frustration of waiting for the results. Although I supposedly cleared the interview, I never got the joining letter after the medical check-up.. When inquired, was said that it was maybe due to my eye power.. Board regulations there was +/- 4 D. And I have -4.5 in one eye! Most other students have been asked to commit for 6months or something to get a job, which they can’t because of the delayed results.. So, no job, no results.. On the funnier side, I hear a lot of them are misplacing their admit cards for the exam!! Lol!  Can it get any worse?

Some are of the opinion that maybe they won’t give results this year. But that is not possible.. Let me tell you why. In medical post graduation one has to work in the hospital, and are known as Residents. PG is a 3 years course. So, apart from the consultants/Senior doctors who work in the hospitals, it’s the Residents and nurses who actually do the mundane.. So, if you see, almost all hospitals are working because of the 3 year Residents in each department.. Now if results were not declared, there’d be no 1st year residents! And it’s the 1st year residents who do the maximum work in most hospitals. And usually 3rd year residents don’t give much time because of their upcoming final exams. So, with no 1st year and no 3rd year, all burden will land on 2nd years.. All hospitals will become under-staffed!! And if that does happen, I won’t be surprised if the 2nd year residents go on a strike because of increased work load!! Lol! And that will result a load on the senior consultants and 3rd years.. Maybe the hospitals would just stop… Phew! Nah! Don’t think that’s gonna happen.. They might delay results or might even give a bad verdict, but results are coming soon..

So, the question isn’t whether they will give or not. The question is whether the verdict will be a fair one. It has become so hard to speculate at the moment!

Medical students are fighting for their rights. Trying to trend #SaveNEETPG on Twitter so as to make mainstream media to cover this issue.. But after covering the sting operation, media seems satisfied with the issue. Nobody wants to cover the issue.. We are writing online petitions to support the cause.. Have written 2 so far..

  1. https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/government-body-save-neet-pg?utm_campaign=share_button_mobile&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition
  2. https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/justice-jagdish-sharan-verma-request-for-intervention-in-the-case-affecting-the-rights-of-90-000-indian-doctors

As it is the Doctor-patient ratio is very bad in India. There’s shortage of doctors! I want to ask the Government, why can’t they increase the number of seats? Why can’t they open new recognized colleges? Why can’t they increase the expenditure on health? I have heard if you ask them, they’ll give you it in terms of Rupees and say ,”See, we have increased the expenditure”.. But what they would not show or see that the %GDP used is still 1% by the government.. ONE PERCENT!!!  And it’s been 1% for ages!! Check my post “Health in India” for the data I dug out from WHO database. You will see the other countries I have compared with, have happily revised their expenditure and increased it!

Jacques Fresco, social engineer of The Venus Project,  rightly said that you can’t talk about ethics in a Monetary Based Economy. I think this is exactly what is happening. One may unearth millions and billions of dollars from Swiss accounts, and “scams” might become like “spam” in India, and 90,000 medical students might die trying to save NEET PG, but elites are busy making more and more money.

Whoever had said that the world was ending in December 2012, had a very shrewd sense of metaphor and cruel sense of humor with respect to the medical students in India.

Hoping against all odds that Supreme court may give a fair verdict and corruption might be decreased if not ended. Till then, we are fighting for our rights. If you are reading this, you might as well open the aforesaid two petition links and sign them. It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor or not. Do help us win this fight against corruption.

 Hoping for a better and healthier tomorrow.

 🙂

Online Exam Experience


In this post I shall talk about my experience of the online exam. 🙂

I was in Bangalore when the “forms” were being distributed. They were being distributed as usual in a bank.. We were made to stand in a queue. And it was almost a 200m long queue, OUTSIDE THE BANK!!! 😮 seriously!! It seemed as if everybody in Bangalore were there to buy the “application form”.. Anyhow, after almost 2 hours I got to enter the bank and buy the “form”, which turned out to be a “SCRATCH-CARD”!!

After getting the scratch-card, we rushed to the nearest cyber café to fill the form.. The plan was to get a seat in Bangalore.. But alas!! No seats! We started at around 2 p.m. and at around about 10 p.m. we successfully filled the form and registered ourselves.. Pathetic server speed.. Actually the fight for centre made the students rush on the first day itself; and the severs crashed.. But I’d say they were quite stable..

Thankfully I got a centre at my hometown, Jamshedpur.. 😀 and I was happy to have a centre where my home was. But the happiness was short-lived.. I went to see the centre before the day of exam and I was surprised!! There it was.. Amidst mud houses.. A college, that had around 60-70 computers in its computer lab.. And to reach this college you were needed to travel around 3 kilometers on the highway outside Jamshedpur and then for the next 3 kilometers take a 3m broad road!!! What a discovery!! I donno how they found that place in the whole of Jamshedpur…!! :-\

Anyways we entered the centre and got ourselves checked.. And they took everything we had in our possessions, except our clothes I think.. The best part was that they were taking our handkerchiefs saying they were “strictly instructed” to do so, BUT let us keep our purse!! Some logic!!Next we were registered.. Fingerprint scanners and what not.. Anyhow.. We sat in our respective seats.. And the exams started..

Then something happened.. The bright screen was giving me a headache.. And the monitor in front of me was new to me and I didn’t have the nerve to experiment. So I asked the invigilator to decrease the brightness of the screen.. After 5 minutes or so, this guy comes.. I ask him to decrease the brightness.. He stretches his hand for the monitor console and lo! Switches off the monitor!! 😮 Then he switches it on.. Then makes the screen go long broad trapezoid and what not! And in the end he successfully decreases the brightness!! What a fight! Lol! 😀 I had an “in-exam entertainment”.. 😀

All-in-all it was a good experience.. Errors like marking the wrong answers on the OMR sheet has been totally removed.. You can change your answer any number of times.. Apart from that there was an option for marking the question.. On the review page, you could selectively review the “Incomplete” questions, the “Marked” questions or all in sequence.. At the end of the exam, Prometric had given a feedback form to fill.. Next we were allowed to leave.. We were given our possessions back.. 🙂


Everything was going digital.. And so has exams.. 2011 was the last year for AIPPGME.. Now it is being conducted by a different body, NBE. The exam now is called NEET-PG.. Even AIPMT has become NEET-UG.. And there’s a NEET-SS for super specialization.

Prometrics is conducting the online adventure. The same company that takes another National exam — CAT — for business students (MBA).

After a lot of struggle, this dream of online exam for MBBS students has been realized.. As far as I remember, I had been hearing rumors of online exam since 2009.. But every time it was cancelled. 2012 was the year..

It was my first online exam experience. Of course, apart from DNB-CET.. This is a post related to my experience.

DNB-CET and NEET-PG were conducted by the same board, i.e. NBE. NBE used to conduct just DNB-CET before this. Now they are conducting both.. And what a mess they have made for both.. There were so many rumors about the expected pattern. But looks like things went totally unexpected. Let me tell you in brief..

AIPGMEE used to be conducted by AIIMS. It had a question pattern very close to AIIMS, but simpler.. It consisted of questions that were fact based and some that were analysis based. But as the years passed by, the questions became weirder and weirder.. DNB-CET is known for its weird questions.. No logic.. One liner questions.. No analysis.. Not much. The dictum is solve the last few years questions and you can crack the exam easily.. But with AIPGMEE and AIIMS a bit more preparation is needed than just blindly solving last few years questions..

When the new pattern was published for NEET, everybody got quite scared.. The proposed pattern included questions with graphs, X-Rays, Diagrams and a lot of analysis questions..

And then something funny happened.. After all the apprehension and hard work behind the said pattern, we encountered a pattern that was like DNB-CET, i.e. one liner questions without any analysis.. And the questions were either kid easy or senseless tough.. And since it was taken over a week for around 7days, question sets differed.. Some students got more of kid easy and some got more of senseless tough…

It was my first online exam experience… and it was satisfactory.. I shall write about my experience on a different post…

See ya all.. 🙂

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