A NEET hit job journalism by Tamil Nadu Journalists

Tamil Nadu has been a state in turmoil, with certain politicians milching every opportunity for political redemption. They are leaving no stone un-turned in pointing fingers at the Central Government in their pursuit to power. With a dozen of protests already going on, they managed to squeeze in the ‘NEET issue’ in their already busy schedule hoping to gain mileage out of the citizen’s misery.

The Media houses are playing the role of a spoilt, wilful child who’s hell bent on getting attention by any means possible! Even if it meant they had to spin a factually wrong headline, and create a clickbait article.

The News Minute came up with a propaganda piece with the headline “Thousands of students have been allocated centers outside Tamil Nadu“. Going by the headline, one has the impression that, all Tamil Nadu students went to other states to write the exam in flocks, and the state was devoid of any NEET centers.

When one reads the article in detail, there seems to be no connection between the headline and the content in the article. The News Minute realised that their click-bait propaganda got exposed and then changed the headline of the article, “NEET outrage: Many students to write exam outside TN, says officials”.

Keeping these propaganda and biased reports aside, let us all have a look at the facts. The TNM article quotes Sanyam Bharadwaj, NEET Director (New Delhi), “Last year 82,000 candidates appeared for NEET from Tamil Nadu itself. We were able to accommodate all of them within the state. However, this year the number of candidates has risen by 31 percent. We increased the number of centres in Tamil Nadu by 25 percent and have even asked centres to accommodate students to its full capacity. A total of 1,07,480 students have registered from Tamil Nadu alone. Out of this, maybe about 1000 or 1500, were given the nearest available centres in neighbouring cities.”

The important point here to be noticed is that, the same article had suggested that CBSE chennai confirmed that 5371 students from Tamil Nadu were writing exam in other states. What one fails to notice is that students were allotted the closest city from their place of residence.

What does this mean? For someone staying in Chennai, Tirupathi will be closer compared to say Trichy, for a student in Coimbatore, Ernakulam will be the closest city than Chennai. The NEET has ensured that only the students who opted to write the exam in English were given a center which is closest to their city of residence in the neighbouring state. All 24,720 students who chose Tamil as the medium of instruction were accommodated on a priority basis within the state.

Not just ‘The News Minute’ but few other journalists from Tamil Nadu are creating a similar hue and cry about protocols that are being followed to conduct the NEET examinations. Notification of stringent dress code for NEET examination was intimated as early as 2016 and these rules have hardly had any changes till today. Unfortunately Times Now Journalist Shabbir Ahmed does not seem to aware of this news, right from 2016.

If not for several well informed twitter users and some useful website links, one would think this dress code came into picture just in 2018. Probably few journalists might go to the extent of alleging that this dress code has been specifically implemented to punish Tamil Nadu students.

Another propaganda spreading like wildfire was, “Several Tamil Nadu students travelling to Rajasthan, Sikkim and other states to write NEET exams”. This needs serious attention from the NEET director. Contrary to the propaganda of journalists that several students had been allotted the center in Rajasthan and various other states, NEET has clarified saying that “No students were allotted outside the state unless they themselves had asked for it.”

The only logical conclusion that one could arrive is that probably few candidates guided their respective coaching centers had selected other states as their center for NEET, since they had opted to go to coaching centers in the respective states. If any student, if at all had been allocated centers which are outside their choice, their stay/accommodation and other expenses must be borne by CBSE.

Yet another twist given by Journalists to NEET examination is the Hindi Vs Non-Hindi game plan. Karthigaichelvan S, Managing Editor of Puthiya Thalaimurai TV, shared an article from ‘The Hindu’ with the headline “Goof-up over NEET question paper in Madurai, students were unable to take exam”.

Although the article alleges that students were not able to take the examination due to mix-up of Hindi Vs Non Hindi question papers, a through reading of the article suggests that there was an initial delay in the examination due to the question paper mix-up but finally all students actually did manage to write the examination. If one notices the headline, it has changed and updated along with the content on 6th May 16:57, unfortunate for ‘The Hindu’ twitter has only exposed their vested interest.

Why certain sections of Tamil Nadu are hell bent on opposing NEET? Medical colleges in the state is a method for minting money, wherein the admissions have been happening solely based on Grade 12th marks. With no transparency in the admission, the college owners have been minting money out of the student’s anxieties. NEET makes college owners accountable to the number of seats given out to candidates and regularizes the process. The college owners also fear that given the nationwide acceptance of NEET scores, they’d lose their ‘customers’ to a better college. No wonder they’re trying out every means to defame, demean the move.

Last but not the least, a certain caste color is being given by sections of Social Media to divide Tamil Nadu over NEET. Remember these were the same people who played politics over the suicide of the girl S.Anitha. Anitha, had reportedly said she would take up courses in Agriculture and do wonders in that filed. Why isn’t there a CBI probe behind the girl’s death? One suspects a foul play in her death, given the clarity with which she declared that she’ll do agriculture course.

Brahmin bashing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labeling the exam as pro-Brahmin and a conspiracy by the upper caste to suppress and not produce any doctors from the marginalised community seems like a pathetic attempt. Looks like every year we are going to see a propaganda piece about how ‘NEET is against Tamil Nadu’ just to create hatred for the BJP led Central Government thereby creating hatred against Brahmins. A hit job NEETly done!

This article has been jointly written by Arun Vishwanathan and Prakash R

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