NIOS students are not eligible for NEET 2018

After a long wait, the official notification of NEET 2018 was finally released on February 8, 2018. The last date for filling the application form is 9th March, 2018 and exam would be conducted on 6th May, 2018 . However, this year NEET 2018 has observed a lot of major changes in terms of eligibility criteria, number of languages and the scope of the examination. One of the major changes that have come as a shocker news, NIOS Students are not eligible for NEET 2018.

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NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) is one of the largest open schools in the world and is currently having around 350000 students admitted under them for pursing their class 12th. States like Tamil Nadu, which has around 1125 students in class 12th through NIOS board, are all completely devastated with this news. Candidates who were preparing from last one and two years, now they cannot achieve their dream i.e to get admission in top MBBS/BDS Colleges. In 2017, around 3000 students applied for NEET under NIOS category and 864 qualified the exam which clearly indicates that these students are not behind the ones from regular schools.

A lot of debate was going around this topic as a gazette notification passed by Indian government stated about this issue of barring NIOS students from NEET. However, MHRD had earlier promised to revoke this decision and allow them for appearing in NEET 2018 but, with this official notification it’s clear that HRD has reverted its decision.

Why NIOS Students are not eligible for NEET 2018

Some of the major arguments of MCI (Medical Council of India) for banning these students from applying to NEET 2018 are as under:

1. Not on par with regular schools

As per MCI, the students belonging to NIOS would not be on par with the students who are belonging to regular mode. There is no equality between students studying under National institute of open schooling and those who are studying in regular schools as both have a very different curriculum, different pedagogy and even the exposure levels vary widely in both. Hence, on an equitable basis MCI considers NIOS students ineligible for NEET 2018.

2. Lack of practical exposure

As per an official statement of MCI, Regular Class 12th students cannot be equated to those registered under open schooling as the students under NIOS do not get the desired practical training. The decision is made keeping in mind the fact that open school students do not attend normal regular classes and they do not get the required practical exposure. In subjects like physics, chemistry and biology where practical training is equally important as much as subject knowledge these open school students are left behind as they don’t undergo the proper classroom training like regular school goers and they never get access to lab sessions due to which they lack behind the normal school students in terms of practical exposure.
NIOS students are not eligible for NEET

3. Difference in level of education

The level of education in both the categories is very different from each other. Regular schooling provides a more disciplined and regulated kind of atmosphere as the teaching takes place in classrooms, there are proper attendance systems, teacher led atmosphere and strict timetables and schedules to be followed. The studies also happen at a strictly regulated pace with a fixed curriculum. On the contrary, though NIOS is considered to be on par with CBSE, and other major state boards the open schooling format is very different.

The learning style is self oriented, self paced and it is more of an individualized learning process as there are no classes and teachers. Students prepare through self-learning materials and even don’t have to go through the rigorous attendance process like regular schools. NIOS however countered this argument and has stated that they have a more rigorous syllabus and examine students both on their class 11th and class 12th basis whereas other boards only evaluate students based on class 12th syllabus.

Well, the decision has surely shattered the dream and aims of so many medical aspirants under NIOS who have now missed the opportunity of becoming medical doctors in the future.

The decision however, seems to be an unfair decision to thousands of deserving candidates who had been preparing for NEET 2018. And, even if one deserving candidate is banned from achieving their dreams, it is the loss of the entire nation.