Doctors question Huge Application fee for NEET PG exam

Published On 2022-05-23 13:25 GMT   |   Update On 2022-05-23 13:25 GMT

New Delhi: Referring to the lack of basic facilities during the recently held National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET-PG) examination 2022, doctors have started questioning why the National Board of Examinations (NBE) is charging so much of money for organizing an online entrance test.While NBE is charging Rs. 5,000 per general candidate for only appearing in the exam,...

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New Delhi: Referring to the lack of basic facilities during the recently held National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET-PG) examination 2022, doctors have started questioning why the National Board of Examinations (NBE) is charging so much of money for organizing an online entrance test.

While NBE is charging Rs. 5,000 per general candidate for only appearing in the exam, the president of the FAIMA Doctors' Association, Dr. Rohan Krishnan has pointed out that on the other hand, NEET-PG 2022 aspirants were complaining that the examination centres lacked the basic facilities including the availability of water, air conditioning etc.

Referring to an 2019 RTI reply showing the amount of money NBE collected from the applications, Dr. Rohan Krishnan compared the fees for NEET-PG and other exams such as INICET , ESIC, UPSC, and claimed in his Tweet that "This is clear cut loot by NBE."

The fee related to the NEET PG exam has been a matter of controversy for quite some time. Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that back in 2018, an RTI revealed that NBE had collected Rs 48 crore as application fees from NEET PG aspirants in 2018 and it spent around a third of that amount to conduct the exam thus incurring a profit of around Rs 30 crore.

With NBE being an autonomous body under the Government of India, medical students had condemned the profits stating that ideally, NBE should have subsidized the fees.
However, last year the examination fees got increased from Rs. 3,750 to Rs 5,015 (including GST) for general aspirants, while SC/ST and PwD candidates' fee had been increased from Rs 2,750 to Rs 3,835 (including GST).

Last year, NBE had decided to charge GST on NEET-PG entrance exam and DNB courses. However, the students started complaining about the same and started comparing the service provided by NBE and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and also the fees charged by them.

Following this, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had clarified that fees paid to the various education boards including the National Board of Examinations (NBE) would not be subject to goods and services tax (GST) anymore. This no GST policy, however, would be applicable only for the purpose of conducting entrance examination or admission process, CBIC had earlier clarified.

This year, the NEET PG 2022 examination was held despite protests from several aspirants who claimed that the schedule of the examination was almost clashing with the counselling schedule for NEET-PG 2021. 

However, speaking to Medical Dialogues, Dr. Rohan Krishnan has informed that they received complaints from the candidates who claimed that basic facilities such as availability of water, air conditioner, etc were unavailable in several exam centres. 

At such an outset, Dr. Krishnan took to Twitter to refer to an RTI reply dating back to 2019. In that reply, NBE has informed that it had collected Rs 48, 07,05,500 from the application fees for NEET PG 2018 and Rs 53, 15,55,750 from the application fees for NEET-PG 2019.

In another RTI reply dated 06.03.2020, NBE had informed that it had collected Rs 59,75,49,500 from the application fees for NEET-PG 2020. In that reply, NBE had also clarified that "NBE does not maintain exam wise income and expenditure."

Referring to this, Dr. Krishnan claimed in his Tweet that when the fees for exams such as INI CET, UPSC, ESIC are less than half, such an exorbitant fees for NEET-PG is "clear cut loot by NBE."

While commenting on the matter, he said, "For conducting NEET PG exam, they have taken 5000 per general candidate. So around 2.2lakh candidates have appeared for the examination, which means that around 100 crores rupees were collected by NBE for conducting NEET PG. On the contrary, for the NEET UG, the charges are around 1500 for general candidates and for PG it is exorbitantly high such as 5000."

"There are two problems. First of all this is not justifiable. Exams like UPSC,ESIC, Railways the organizations charge minimal amount like 200/500 rupees. Then for conducting the same online exam why NBE is charging so much more? Also, NBE is not liable for the counselling process, which is done by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) and for that the students are required to pay the fees again. So NBE gets these 100 crore rupees only for conducting the online examination," explained Dr. Krishnan.
Referring to the experience of the NEET PG candidates, he added, "On the other hand, students from all over the India have compelled to us that there were no facilities in the examination centres. Even basic facilities such as availability of water, air conditioner, air coolers for centres such as very hot zones like Lucknow and Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, these facilities were not available. Female candidates were complaining that the condition of the washrooms were not very good. So my question is what exactly is NBE doing! After charging so much of money, at least basic sanitation, water, air conditioner should have been available."
"Such a high amount is not justifiable under any circumstances. When we filed an RTI they could not explain that how much expenditure was there for allotment of centres and how much they had to pay to various centres for conducting the exam," he further mentioned.
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