Submitted by alvin on Mon, 2016-05-02 13:49 Bengaluru: Much is being written about the National Entrance and Eligibility Test (NEET) after the Apex Court termed it a mandatory for medical admission process. Many have welcomed it saying, it ensures transparency. But NEET exam has turned out to be costlier when compared to the Common Entrance Test (CET). According to the PU students who are appearing for CET – 2016 on May 4 and 5, the examination fee was Rs 650 but one has to pay Rs 1400 as examination fee for NEET. This is more than double from the CET fee! When many students find it difficult to write CET owing to its examination fee, the NEET’s fee system would discourage many from applying. “Many students do not write CET examination as their parents would not be in a position to pay the fee. When recently BESCOM kept Rs 2,000 as fee for selection test, chief minister himself intervened to reduce the fee. In this backdrop, Rs 1,400 as NEET fee will be an added burden to students who are also writing CET,” said an officer from the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA). But why so costly fee? CBSE officials, who are conducting the NEET exam justified it saying it ensures fool-proof system. “We need to screen every student. We even install mobile jammers in the examination halls following last year’s alleged malpractices using digital technology. As the central government does not assist in any way to conduct examination, we need to raise funds from students themselves,” said an officer from CBSE. Disheartened by this, many students and parents have flooded chief minister’s office with complaints and seeking his intervention to reduce the fee. But students need to wait before deciding anything against it, says an officer from the medical education department. “Students still have more than two and half months’ time to prepare for NEET II scheduled for July 24. Yet vested interests are trying to mobilise public opinion against the NEET, which is not fair” the officer commented. Meanwhile, the state government will file an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking postponement of implementation of NEET from next academic year (2017-18). SC is expected to hear a bunch of petitions against mandatory NEET on May 3.