Odisha Double Whammy: NEET Takers stagnate, Crack-rate dips

The double whammy to Odisha is on account of the non-affordability of students to attend coaching classes to crack the tough syllabus of NEET

Bhubaneswar: For the mandarins in the State Higher Education Department, the nagging fact to fore in the 2019 National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (UG) (NEET-UG) is when the number of students appearing for the coveted exam from Odisha were almost static (only 0.23 per cent rise), almost all the neighbouring States have posted a handsome growth of  9 – 14 per cent.

Sample this: The total candidates appeared for NEET exam from Odisha in 2018 were 32,301; in 2019 the number from Odisha counted at only 32, 378.

In contrast, Jharkhand posted a 14 per cent rise in students appeared for the NEET to 16,934. Andhra Pradesh posted 12 per cent rise in students appeared in 2019 to 16, 934. Chhattisgarh posted 9 per cent rise to 25, 984 and West Bengal posted around 11 per cent rise to 62,050.

The 2019 NEET qualified rate from Odisha posted a dip of 1.24 per cent to 59.44 per cent. But the neighbouring  States like West Bengal, Chhattisgarh have posted a spike. Though the qualified proportion in Jharkhand has remained almost static, the rate is higher than Odisha. Only Andhra Pradesh posted a fall in qualified proportion, but the success rate of Andhra Pradesh was nearly 71 per cent from 72.55 per cent in 2018.

For Odisha, the double whammy is while the number of students who took the NEET exam stagnated, the ratio of qualified dipped in 2019. The fact of solace, however, is the qualified rate of Odisha has stayed above the national average qualified rate of around 56 per cent in 2019.

NEET is an eligibility exam to pursue courses in MBBS and BDS across the country. Unless one clears the NEET, none can pursue the medical profession as every institute nationally has accepted the NEET merit list as the benchmark to select students for their respective medical courses.

As per experts, the double whammy in Odisha is on account of the non-affordability of students to attend coaching classes to crack the tough syllabus of NEET.

An analysis of the 2019 NEET statistics revealed that States which had different yardsticks or exam for selections prior to coming under NEET, have recorded a low qualified rate in the NEET exam.

States like Maharashtra, Gujarat and TN have a low qualified rate. The reason: These States had earlier been selecting students to pursue medical courses in their respective States, where weightage of marks scored in plus -2 exams were considered. As NEET is a competitive exam, these States lagged behind in NEET qualified list.

Rajasthan scored a qualified rate of around 69 per cent in 2019 and over 74 per cent in 2018. The reason: Rajasthan is considered the Mecca of NEET and IIT coaching.

In the given context, like TN, the Odisha Government has to launch a free coaching session for NEET in all the districts so that it will pep up the confidence among Plus-2 pass outs to not only sit for the NEET exam but crack it too.