The minority perspective on NEET

The minority perspective on NEET

The minority perspective on NEET
A national eligibility test puts students from rural areas, especially the minorities, at a disadvantage.

The standard of the test is higher, giving students from urban backgrounds an unfair upper hand. This is the view of Shafi Ahmed, secretary of the Karnataka Religious and Linguistic Minority Professional Colleges Association (KRLMPCA).

“Earlier, there was the Common Entrance Test and there was the test that our association conducted. These were based on the situation in the state. Now, students from urban areas and from North India have a better chance at getting general merit seats,” Shafi said.

Before the introduction of NEET, KRLMPCA used to conduct counselling for 75% of seats in member colleges based on their own test. This year the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) is holding a combined centralised counselling for all colleges, including minority institutions. The association did not object to this. Their only demand was that the fee should be increased.

“For the last four years, the government gave us one excuse after another for not increasing the fee. This year, upcoming elections were the excuse. How can we continue running our colleges and hospitals at this rate?” Shafi asked.

The government agreed to raise the fee by 10% this year but Shafi says that this would hardly make any difference.

“Deemed universities have a different fee structure and they charge more. When we are teaching the same syllabus is our colleges, too, why can’t we collect a higher fee?” he added.

There was a demand from Karnataka candidates that a percentage of open quota seats in minority institutions be reserved for them. The government agreed and said that 50% of the open quota seats would be for Karnataka domicile students and the remaining were to be filled based on the all India rank in NEET.

“We have accepted that decision. But we wish that the number of seats available for minority candidates was more. After all, there are very few minority institutions in the state and very few of our students get seats in non-minority colleges,” Shafi said.
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