CHENNAI: While Biology and Chemistry papers gave those who attempted the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) a reason to cheer, Physics was a letdown, according to some students.
Around 1.07 lakh students took the NEET for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in Tamil Nadu. Around 24,720 of them opted to write the exam in Tamil.
“Physics was the toughest for me,” said Ibrahim Thenmalaikhan. “It was an easy paper, but was very long. I ended up leaving 30 of the 180 questions. This was my second attempt at NEET. Last year was extremely tough for me. I could not attend most of the questions in Physics and Chemistry papers. After taking coaching for a year, I found it a lot easier to attend most of the questions,” he added. Not just Thenmalaikhan, several others found it hard to complete the Physics paper in time. Teachers felt it was because many of the problems involved in-depth calculations.
“It is not fair on the part of those setting the paper to give sums that require so much calculation,” said P Ravi, Physics faculty at a private coaching centre in Chennai. “It is not that the questions were tough, they just required a lot of time and calculation. The NEET is meant to check the understanding of students, it does not require questions that need so much calculation. None of my students were able to complete the paper,” he said. Some students even found that Physics was more focused on practical lab work rather than theoretical component. “There were a lot of questions on screw gauges and optics that were a part of our school lab work,” said S Swetha, another aspirant.
For CBSE students, the paper was relatively easier as they claimed many of the questions were from their board exam.“I studied in a CBSE school. So I did not find the paper as hard as those from the State Board,” said I Raj Kishore, who just completed his Class XII. “Physics was a long paper, but the questions were quite direct. Moreover, I found that many questions were apt only for CBSE students, which made it much easier. I had no trouble completing the paper.”
After receiving flak for its ‘stringent’ rules last year, particularly when it came to the dress code, students felt that the frisking process was toned down this time around. “We were asked to remove any religious threads or symbols that we were wearing,” said one of the students at the exam centre on Anderson Road, who did not wish to be identified. “Belts were not permitted and we were made to remove our footwear outside the hall. The procedure was a lot better than last year where they were very stringent, to the point of being ridiculous.”
Students claimed that this kind of checking added to the pressure. “Those who were checking whether we conformed to the dress code were very harsh and it got some of us flustered, although we had adhered to the rules,” said Swetha. “Some of my friends said they would rethink of taking the exam again only because they treated us badly during the checking.”
For female students, it was not just the clothes that they needed to worry about, but also their hair.
Sivaram K, a student of Atomic Energy Higher Secondary School at Kalpakkam said in his centre at Kendriya Vidyalaya in Anna Nagar, there was a brief confusion as to what accessories the girls should wear. “They took off their hair clips, then they tied their hair up again — it went on for a few minutes,” he said.
However, certain centres continued to make students feel uncomfortable. “I felt we were still treated like criminals,” said Thenmalaikhan. “While the frisking was better than last year, I found that I was being watched a lot through the exam, possibly because I have grown a beard. Every time I looked up, I could see the invigilator looking at me. It was almost like they had put me under surveillance!” he said.
Government to sponsor the education of boy who lost father
Chennai: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the Tamil Nadu government would bear the cost of education of Kasturi Mahalingam, who lost his father, Krishnasam, to a heart attack in Ernakulam in Kerala on Sunday. He also said the Chief Secretary, as per his directions, had contacted her Kerala counterpart requesting him to direct the Ernakulam Collector to expedite formalities to send the body of Krishnasamy to his native place. Subsequently, the Ernakulam Collector has been making all necessary arrangements, Palaniswami said in the statement on Sunday.
Opposition holds Centre, State responsible for death
Chennai: Expressing shock and grief over the death of Krishnasamy, opposition parties in Tamil Nadu blamed the Centre and Tamil Nadu government for causing hassles to parents and candidates. “The fear grips, how many lives have to be sacrificed if those in the (State) government remain puppets in the hands of the Centre without waging a legal fight to get exemption from NEET,” DMK working president M K Stalin said in a statement. “The indifferent attitude of the government is responsible for the loss of lives due to NEET,” Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president S Thirunavukkarasar said.
Minimal absentees in State this year
Namakkal: Many aspirants from Delta districts were allotted centres in Namakkal. Though, 5,560 students were permitted to write the exam at seven centres in Namakkal, 152, including 72 girls skipped it. Sources further said that at each and every centre in Namakkal, approximately 300 students from delta districts wrote the exam. Talking about absentees, K Srinivasan, Deputy Secretary and Regional Officer of CBSE in Chennai, said, “Of the students registered, the absentees accounted for only five per cent in Chennai. Going by the trends, absentees would probably be negligible in other districts too.”
Burglars target empty house in Tenkasi
Tirunelveli: While several parents accompanied their children to the NEET at various centres, thieves made use of the opportunity by targeting the house of a candidate in Tenkasi in Tirunelveli district. According to police, Murugiah, a resident of KR Colony in Tenkasi, had gone to Ernakulam in Kerala on Saturday, with his wife and son, a NEET candidate who was allotted a centre there. On Sunday morning, when one of Murugiah’s relatives residing nearby went to the house, the door was found open and things were found scattered outside.