Competitive exams like NEET should focus on attracting Merit: Odisha CM

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Updated on Feb 22, 2021 14:25 IST

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said “critical look” is needed to “re-evaluate” patterns of these “prestigious and highly sought after exams." 

Competitive exams including National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), and those conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) should focus on equality and attracting merit, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently said while participating during the sixth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also said that a “critical look” is needed to “re-evaluate” patterns of these “prestigious and highly sought after exams” as lakhs of students appear for the exam every year.

Should not we have exams that focus on equality and attracting merit as opposed to exam patterns that are heavily dependent on highly paid coaching classes,” Patnaik asked. The Odisha Chief Minister contended that dependence on coaching classes for competitive exams will eliminate merit of students. 

This will truly eliminate merit in the long run and deny justice to lakhs of our children who live in rural areas and don’t have physical or economic access to coaching classes,” he said. The Chief Minister made a strong appeal to the NITI Aayog to look into this serious issue otherwise in a few years’ there will be serious distortions.

Conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), NEET is the single gateway to provide admission in MBBS/BDS and other similar medical courses across country. NEET scores are used for admission to undergraduate medical seats, including those at AIIMS and JIPMER institutes. The date, time, and exam pattern have yet not been announced for NEET 2021 exam.

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