MADURAI: The Central Board of Secondary Education on Tuesday told the Madurai bench of the Madras high court that it would need at least 15 days to declare the results of NEET-2017, leaving thousands of students across the country in limbo and admission schedules for professional courses this academic year all askew.
Even if the court immediately lifts an interim stay on “all further proceedings” with regard to NEET, CBSE will have to take time to come out with the answer key, restart evaluation of answer scripts and declare results, the board said.
A division bench of Madras high court had on May 24 stayed all further proceedings till June 7; CBSE took 13 days to file a counter affidavit to PILs.
“The delay in declaring re sults due to the interim order is already beyond permissible limit,” the board said. “CBSE will require 15 days to declare the result if it is permitted to do so…CBSE has to complete the remaining steps for preparation of results -hosting of OMR [optical mark recognition] on the website and hosting of the answer key -which will require 15 days.”
Engineering colleges across the country have to complete counselling by July 30 and the deadline for medical collegesuniversities is September 30. With the delay, many aspiring MBBS students have sought admission to engineering courses.
“We generally begin engineering counselling after the first round of MBBS admissions, to prevent engineering seats going waste,” said a Tamil Nadu Engineering Admission committee official. Many states will require at least six weeks to complete engineering admissions. For that, the counselling for single window admission of students into engineering courses should begin at least by the last week of this month, officials said. If NEET results are delayed, medical counselling ses sions, especially in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra, which have more than 40 medical colleges each, would be packed. The MCI had ordered that admission to all medical colleges -government, self-financing and deemed universities -have to be conducted by a state authority.
NEET examinations were held across the nation on May 7 in 10 different languages.Soon after the tests, PILs were filed in various courts, raising several issues. In the Madurai bench of the Madras high court, a batch of PILs were filed on the ground that NEET question papers were not uniform for different languages, and that it resulted in some vernacular languages having an easy set of questions.
On Tuesday, calling for lifting of the May 24 stay order, CBSE said: “If the stay is not vacated, the future of 11.38 lakh candidates who appeared for the NEET would be jeopardised. It would create unrest among the stakeholders. The procedures to complete the medical and dental admission as directed by the Supreme Court could not be complied. Besides, CBSE would face contempt of court.”
Justifying NEET, CBSE regional officer Mahesh D Dharmadhikari denied the petitioners’ arguments that question papers were different in vernacular languages and that English question papers were tougher than Hindi and Gujarati papers (the PIL had also claimed that the Gujarati question paper was the easiest of all papers). CBSE said it had prepared 10 sets of question papers of “similar difficulty level”. Of the 10, four sets were randomly selected for translation into vernacular languages and the remaining six sets were used for English and Hindi. From four sets translated in vernacular languages, three sets were randomly picked for printing. On the day of examination, the competent authority decided on two sets of question papers. Of the 11.38 lakh students registered for NEET, only 47,853 opted for the examination in Gujarati; 34,417 chose Bengali, 15,206 wrote in Tamil, 3,810 in Assamese, 1,766 in Telugu, 978 in Marathi, 712 in Kannada and 452 in Oriya, the officer said.