CHENNAI: Candidates who took the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for postgraduate medical courses complained of stringent frisking to the extent of women being told to remove their ‘thalis’ at a few exam centres. The NEET for admission to PG medical courses was conducted by the National Board of Examination across 49 centres in 11 cities in the State on Sunday.
Last year, such stringent frisking of candidates had triggered a national uproar and the authorities had then assured that the staff in the exam centres would be sensitised.
The Tamil Nadu Medical Officers Association (TNMOA) condemned the act and said that making women candidates remove thali would hurt the sentiments of people.
“We gave a representation last year to the National Board of Examination on the issue. It is sad that this year also the officials hurt the sentiments of the people here. At a few centres, women were allowed to write the exam wearing their thaalis after frisking. But at some centres such as the Sun Engineering College in Nagercoil and Sivanthi Adhithanar College in Thiruchendur, the officials did not allow women candidates to wear thali,” said Dr Kathirvel, the secretary of TNMOA.
When queried, an official of the National Board of Examination said, “We allowed women to write exam wearing thaali after frisking. But at a few centres, it was not permitted since we received complaints of possible malpractices. It is a competitive exam and so we did not want to take any chance.”
Though many candidates said the paper was easy, there were issues related to power cuts at a few centres, which delayed the three-and-a-half-hour exam.
In all, there were 300 questions, including a few mathematical problems. “We were not given scribbling pad in our centre. Frisking was too much and we were not allowed to wear socks also. But last year, there was not much frisking,” said Dr Vara Prasad, who appeared for the exam at the Nagercoil centre.
A total of 14,780 candidates had registered for the exam from State, in which 14,321 appeared and 549 were absent, an official from the National Board of Examination said.
Told to remove Thaali
Tamil Nadu Medical Officers Association condemned the act of making women candidates remove thaali, saying it would hurt sentiments of people. “We gave a petition last year. It is sad that this year also the officials repeated it. At a few centres, women were allowed to write the exam wearing their thaalis. But at some centres such as the Sun Engg College in Nagercoil and Tiruchendur Sivanthi Adhithanar College, the officials did not allow women to wear thaali.