The National Eligibility-Entrance Test or NEET is one of the biggest medical entrance exams of the country. Lakhs and lakhs of students appear each year for the test who wish to study in the medical field with many preparing for the extremely stressful exam for years.
Loads of tuition classes, cramming of information and preparation already lead to a very tough time for these students, whose future and career depend on getting a good rank in the test so that they can be eligible for a decent medical college in the country.
As if the stress of all that was not enough, as per recent reports several female students were allegedly asked to remove their innerwear before appearing for the test in Kerala.
On Monday students in Kerala were appearing for the NEET exam with one of the center being the Mar Thoma Institute of Information Technology. It is here that female students were reportedly told to remove their innerwear for allegedly ‘security’ reasons before they could enter the exam hall.
As per News Minute, one of the female student’s fathers Gopakumar Sooranad filed a police complaint after his 17-year-old daughter was asked to remove her bra otherwise she could not give the exam.
According to a PTI report he stated how he and his wife were having lunch after dropping off their daughter at the test center when they got a call from the ‘information technology’ calling them back to the test center.
Here he added “When we reached the gate, we saw our daughter in tears. She said that she and other girls were being asked to remove part of their inner wear and asked for a shawl to wear during the test.
My wife gave her a shawl and she went back inside and we thought that was that. However, after the exam, my daughter returned still looking distressed and broke into tears in my wife’s arms. On the way home she told us what had transpired during the test. It was startling.”
The daughter reportedly told her father that one of the invigilators told her that she would not be allowed to give her exam if she didn’t remove her bra. The complaint was registered at the Kottarakkara Deputy Superintendent of Police’s office.
In a letter to the police, he wrote “After a security check, my daughter was told that the hook of the innerwear was detected by the metal detector, so she was asked to remove it. Almost 90% of female students had to remove their inners and keep them in a storeroom. The candidates were mentally disturbed while writing the exam.” He also wrote that many of the girls felt “mentally tortured” and were shaken up by what happened.
The National Testing Agency, or NTA, however, has flat out denied all such allegations and that they’ve not gotten any such complaints. An official of NTA, in charge of conducting the NEET exams, was quoted by PTI stating that “On basis of media reports, a report was sought from the superintendent and observer. They informed no such incident took place… complaint is fictitious and filed with wrong intentions.”
Apparently, the furor around the news has led to other parents also coming out and adding to what happened. According to The News Minute, a parent said that “Our house is more than a one-and-a-half-hour drive from the centre. My daughter, who was very upset, explained all that happened at the centre on our way back home.
After reaching home, I tried to find an official’s contact to file a complaint but their (NTA) website had nothing. Whom should we complain to? The NTA’s reply to the issue is offensive. Are they saying that all the students are lying? First they harassed children and now they are covering it up.”
As of now, the Kollam police has registered a case under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and is investigating into the matter.
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