Quality of private college get affected by high fees
Overall, there are only 60,000-odd MBBS seats in India, so how someone does rank 4 lakh or more in NEET get admission even if he or she qualified? This seems an impossible situation with all colleges having to go by the NEET ranking in admissions, but the high fees charged by most private colleges make it possible. That topples merit by forcing thousands of students with high scores to forego seats, allowing poor performers with money to get admission.
For example, you could consider admissions to colleges in Punjab where — eight of them under the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, three government-run and four private ones and a private university.
The student with the highest NEET marks among those admitted into the private university had lower marks than the last student admitted to the open category in each of the government colleges. In the private university, the fees for the MBBS course are Rs 64 lakh compared to just Rs 4 lakh in the government colleges. While data for all states was not available, a similar pattern was evident in Tamil Nadu as well.
Role of Government quota
In fact, even within private institutions, those who got into the government quota of private colleges had the best scores, while private universities saw candidates with much lower scores gaining admission. Compared to roughly a crore, the government quota in private colleges is fixed at Rs 4 lakh in the private universities. To get a better sense of how exorbitant fees are lowering the standards of intake in medical colleges, consider this.
Even assuming that one-third of the top 60,000 ranks opted out for various reasons provided if all 60,000-odd seats were in government colleges, where the fees are not prohibitive, the last rank to get in would have been at worst in the range of 80,000. A percentile score of about 92.6 and marks of 399 out of 720 or about 55.4% is seen by the 80,000th rank holder in NEET 2017. Experts have suggested 1:3 as the ideal seats to eligible student’s ratio. That would have meant fixing the percentile cut-off so that about 1.8 lakh qualify.
Statement of vice chancellor
“The arrival of NEET has made things much better which stopped the completely unregulated MBBS admissions happening earlier. But to ensure that only meritorious students get in, the fees of these teaching shops that pass off as colleges have to be regulated so that students who perform poorly don’t use money power to defeat poor or middle-class students who have scored much better. “The government also needs to open more medical colleges,” said Dr Raj Bahadur, vice chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.