NEET UG 2022 Kerala Controversy – Probe, Developments & Solution

New Delhi, 20 July 2022- NEET UG 2022 Kerala Controversy – Reports regarding the NEET UG 2022 frisking incident have begun to surface from examination centers situated across multiple locations within Kerala. Three such incidents have been reported from the Kollam district in Kerala, where female candidates were asked to remove their innerwears before they were allowed to enter the examination hall. 

This was done because the students were allegedly violating the NTA guidelines of not carrying metallic items into the examination hall, as their innerwear had metallic hooks. As a result of this, the Kerala State Government and various organizations such as NCW (National Commission for Women) and NTA (National Testing Agency), which conducts the NEET examinations across India, have swung into action. 

NCW has asked NTA to conduct a probe into the matter and NTA has also formed a fact-finding team to investigate the incident. Five women staff accused of being involved in the NEET UG 2022 frisking incident have also been arrested. Experts are of the opinion that the lack of clarity in the guidelines provided by NTA, especially those related to the dress code, are leading to such incidents being repeated.

NEET UG 2022 Kerala Controversy – Overview

Examination Name National Eligibility Entrance Test Undergraduate 2022 (NEET UG 2022) 
Conducting Agency National Testing Agency (NTA)
Place of the Incident Kollam district, Kerala
Incident Behind the Controversy Female Candidates being told to remove innerwear with metallic hooks for allegedly violating NTA dress code.
Action Taken So Far
  • FIRs filed by parents 
  • NCW’s probe order 
  • NTA’s fact-finding team formed 
  • Five arrests made

NEET UG 2022 Kerala Controversy – Background

  • On Sunday, 17 July 2022, female candidates appearing for the NEET (National Eligibility Entrance Test) at a center in Kerala’s Kollam district were asked by the staff to remove their innerwear. 
  • It was said that the metallic hooks attached to their innerwear allegedly violated the NTA’s directive of not allowing metallic objects within examination halls. 
  • After the parents of the aggrieved candidates filed an FIR, the NEET frisking incident was taken up by the media. 
  • A controversy erupted, as more reports of similar frisking incidents from other examination centers in Kollam district began to surface. 
  • Similarly in 2017, an incident was reported from Kerala, where a probe was conducted and ‘overzealous authorities’ were found to blame. 
  • Moreover, multiple allegations of cheating in NEET 2021 examinations were raised. It led to the filing of a plea in the Supreme Court to cancel the examinations, which was, however, rejected. 
  • It is possible that the instances of cheating during NEET 2021 examinations led to the authorities being extra suspicious this time, which led to the NEET UG 2022 Kerala controversy.

NEET UG 2022 Kerala Controversy – Developments 

As similar frisking incidents from many centers across the Kollam district in Kerala were reported, the parents of the aggrieved female candidates filed FIRs. The matter also caught the media’s attention. 

Meanwhile, the Kerala Higher Education Minister – R. Bindu – has written a letter to Union Education Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan – expressing shock at the assault on the dignity of female candidates who appeared for the exam. 

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has directed the Kerala Director General of Police (DGP) to take action in this regard. It has also ordered the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the NEET examinations, to launch a probe into the matter. 

Accordingly, NTA has formed a fact-finding team, which has left for Kerala to carry out investigations. Moreover, five women staff who are accused of being involved in the incident have been arrested. 

The NTA guidelines on the dress code for NEET UG 2022, which can be viewed on the official website, appear to be quite vague in this regard. 

The list of barred items includes “Any metallic things that could be used for unfair means, for hiding communication devices like camera, Bluetooth device, etc.”. 

These guidelines are quite vague, open to interpretation, and might mean anything ranging from metallic buttons to metallic support equipment (such as crutches, belts or walking sticks for differently abled candidates). This vagueness, as per some experts, might be responsible for the repetition of incidents like the NEET 2022 frisking incident in Kerala.

NEET UG 2022 Kerala Controversy – What are Some Possible Solutions?

In order to avoid the repetition of such incidents as the frisking incident during the NEET UG examinations 2022 in Kerala, here are some solutions that experts believe can be implemented:

  • There should be greater clarity in the NTA guidelines pertaining to the dress code, so that no vagueness remains and things are not left open to the interpretation of the frisking staff.
  • Adequate training is required for the frisking staff, so that they are equipped to handle such sensitive situations and incidents like the NTA 2022 Kerala frisking incident are not repeated.

FAQs

What is the NEET UG 2022 Kerala controversy?

Across multiple centers in Kerala’s Kollam district, reports have surfaced that female candidates were asked to remove their innerwears, which contained metallic hooks by the frisking staff, as it allegedly violated the NTA-prescribed dress code for NEET.

Who conducts the NEET examination?

NEET is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) all over India.

Have such NEET controversies happened before too?

Yes! In 2017, the frisking staff at a center in Kerala were found guilty of asking female candidates to remove their underwear before they were allowed to take their NEET examinations. The investigation reported that ‘overzealous authorities’ were behind the lapse.

What are the solutions to stop the repetition of such incidents?

 Experts recommend that there should be greater clarity in the NTA guidelines for dress codes to be observed in examinations like NEET. They have also recommended that the frisking staff should be trained to handle such sensitive situations.

 

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