Imagine, an opportunity is available to a patient, to decide the doctor as based on his route or marks for entry into medical college. Whether patient will like to get treated by a doctor, who secured 20% marks, 30 % marks or 60% marks or 80% marks for medical college. Even an illiterate person can answer that well. But strangely for selection of doctors, rules were framed so as to dilute the merit to the minimum possible. So that a candidate who scores 20 -25 % marks also becomes eligible to become a doctor. What is the need to dilute and shortlist around half a million for few thousand seats. Answer to that is simple. To select and find only those students from millions, who can pay millions to become doctors.
Although the whole effort and huge expenditure to become doctors in this way may be really worthless in today’s scenario, considering the difficult times and vulnerability of medical profession. By allowing a intentional dilution of quality can be advantageous only to few and detrimental to others.
- Beneficiaries are rich candidates, medical colleges who collecting fee and may be public who will get numbers of doctors. Surplus of doctors is thought to be an advantage to society. But here quality is least of the consideration.
- Disadvantage to students, who are meritorious but can’t pay, and possibly society in long run, who is deprived of good quality doctors.
- A lower eligibility cut-off would mean that students with even lower percentage of marks will be eligible for MBBS
- Last year, 11,114 students who scored 270 or less out of 720 got admission into medical colleges, mostly in private colleges
- By the percentile system, last year, a student scoring 270 was within the 80th percentile
NEW DELHI: The results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for MBBS admissions for 2018 announced on Monday showed even lower cut-offs than last year. The cut-off for the unreserved category is down from 131 out of 720 marks last year to 119 this year, while the one for the reserved categories has dropped by a similar margin from 107 to 96. Over 7 lakh students from the 13 lakh plus who appeared for the exam have qualified to join medical college.
A lower eligibility cut-off for NEET would mean that students with even lower percentage of marks will be eligible to get admission for MBBS. In case you thought just being eligible would not allow those with poor scores to get admission, here’s what happened last year. Over 4,300 students who scored 180 or less in NEET actually got admission to MBBS. The overwhelming majority of them in private colleges, where high fees make it difficult for those with meagre means to join even if they have the marks.
A score of 180 out of 720 is the minimum mark a student would get if they got 40% of the answers right, even if they got all the rest wrong, with the negative marking scheme in place in NEET. Of course, 40% is the pass percentage in most exams. In terms of percentage, 180 out of 720 is a mere 25%. But going by the percentile system of NEET, 180 in 2017 meant the student was within the 64th percentile, well above the 50th percentile cut-off for the unreserved category.
Last year, 11,114 students who scored 270 or less out of 720 got admission into medical colleges, once again mostly in private colleges. If a student got half the answers right, he could not have got less than 270. Before NEET, the minimum eligibility criteria for MBBS admission was 50% through various entrance exams though the quality of some of the exams conducted by colleges themselves was dubious. By the percentile system, last year, a student scoring 270 was within the 80th percentile.
Incidentally, because there are no cut-offs specified for individual subjects within NEET, there were several cases last year of people who qualified and got admission into medical colleges with scores of zero or even negative marks in chemistry or physics. With the cut-offs dropping further this year in terms of percentage marks (though remaining the same in percentile terms), chances are we will see a repeat of worse this year.
If the society continues to accept such below par practices, it has to introspect, whether it actually deserves to get good doctors. Paying the irrational fee of medical colleges may be unwise idea for the candidates, who are not from strong financial backgrounds. But at the same time unfortunately, it may be a compulsion and entrapment for students, who have entered the profession and there is no way forward. So children have to be careful while choosing medical careers from the beginning.
A famous axiom “as you sow so shall you reap” has an application to health system in this scenario, so people should not rue scarcity of good doctors.