Saturday, September 9, 2017

CMC Vellore has only one MBBS student this year

CMC Vellore has only one MBBS student this year

The Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore has decided to suspend admissions to its MBBS and super specialities courses for 2017-2018 as it is unable to follow its established admission process after the NEET became operational.

It will admit just one candidate in MBBS and one student in super specialities owing to prior commitments. As a result, 99 seats in MBBS and 61 in the super specialities will not be filled, the CMC’s Council decided on Saturday.

The move is seen as a consequence of the post-NEET scenario where the government decreed that all admissions to medical courses would be filled up through single window counselling on the basis of NEET marks.



The MBBS course will be run for a single student, a Central Government nominee who happens to be the son of a martyr this year, and a single candidate will be admitted to the DM Cardiology, as mandated by a Supreme Court order earlier this year, explained Sunil Chandy, Director, CMC.

PG admissions to 182 courses were filled up as per usual admission process as the prescription of single window counselling came at the eleventh hour by which time the College had completed its admissions, and as per the Notification issued by the National Board of Examinations. The Supreme Court ratified this in favour of the college, Solomon Sathishkumar, principal-in-charge, CMC, said.

“The Council was perturbed by the position taken by the MCI and the Government of India to whittle down or obliterate the benefit of Article 30 (1) to a proven institution,” says Krishna Srinivasan, senior lawyer who has appeared for the college over several decades.

Article 30(1) guarantees minorities, both religious and linguistic, the right “to establish and administer educational institutions” of their choice. This right, incidentally, has been recognised from the year 1957 by a series of judgments of the Supreme Court, including the landmark decision rendered by the eleven-judge bench of the Supreme Court in the Pai case.

Mr Srinivasan said, “We have challenged the Regulations prescribing common counselling for both UG and PG courses in the Supreme Court, in which we have also filed two interlocutory petitions, one for under graduate admissions, and another for admission to super specialities. In October, the Court will decide the validity of our plea to make our own admissions.”

“We are not happy to do this. It will also translate to a deficit in our frontline patient management systems. It is a sacrifice we are making. But we have to judge a student by our objective of the role we envision for our candidates,” Dr. Chandy said.

“The government defines merit as marks alone. For the kind of doctors we need, we have to assess suitability criteria, including commitment to serving the public, leadership skills, and ability to work as part of our team, enshrined in our three-day selection process. This does not come through in the current admission system.”

Thomas Samuel Ram, CMC Council secretary, said, “We want to run the course, but our hands are tied. Ours is a system that has been recognised and even commended by several judgements as fair and non-exploitative. The fees (₹3000 per annum) is heavily subsidised by patient care.” He added that the assessment of a candidate is against a particular role the college expects him or her to perform.

Out of the 100 seats available for the MBBS course, 85 seats are reserved for the minority community, in this case, Christians and 15 seats are in the open category. Students admitted under the minority category are required to serve in one of the mission hospitals run by the society for two years after completing the course.

“Even the other students are inspired, and are glad for opportunities to serve in remote locations. Ninety per cent of our students continue to stay and serve,” said Dr. Chandy. He explained that students come from all over the country, and the heavily-subsidised education allows them students from different backgrounds to take up a course. In some instances, mission hospitals support under privileged children with aptitude from their areas to study at CMC. The history of the college is replete with stories of students returning home to establish medical facilities, in some instances, for the first ever time, he adds, quoting some examples.

Mr. Srinivasan pointed out that the CMC’s admission system has been in place since 1946 and has been enriched through inputs from experts in different fields. In 1993 when CMC was asked to surrender 50% of its seats pursuant to the Unnikrishnan judgement which framed a scheme for admission to professional colleges, the court recognised the relevance of CMC’s admission process and carved it out as an exception.
Ensure no agitation against NEET: SC to TN govt.

Ensure no agitation against NEET: SC to TN govt.

New Delhi, Sep 8 (PTI) The Supreme Court today directed the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that no agitation takes place in the state over the NEET examination issue.

The apex court directed that anybody involved in any kind of activity that stalls normal life of citizens in the state should be booked under the appropriate law.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra passed the direction observing that the NEET examination had already been upheld by the apex court.



"As an interim measure, it is directed that it shall be the obligation of the chief secretary and principal secretary of Tamil Nadu to ensure that no agitation takes place in relation to the NEET examination that has been upheld by this court," the bench, also comprising A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The top court issued notice to Tamil Nadu government on a plea seeking a direction to the state to maintain law and order situation and ensure that no agitation, strike or protest by political parties or individuals be allowed against the NEET examination.

The petitioner had also submitted that normal life of citizens was gravely affected due to the ongoing protests on the issue in the state.

The bench will now hear the matter on September 18.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Arrests made in NEET cheating scam

Arrests made in NEET cheating scam

Five engineers, including the supervisor of an examination centre in Chandigarh, where the National Eligibility and Entrance Test was held in December last year, have been arrested for allegedly hacking the examination server after installing a software called Ammyy Admin.

The examination is held to admit students into postgraduate medical courses. As first reported by The Indian Express in April, Delhi Police had discovered that servers were hacked to help some students cheat in the exam, following which three persons were arrested.

Sources said one of the accused, Ankur Mishra, a mechanical engineer and a site supervisor of Indo Global College of Engineering in Chandigarh, surrendered before a Delhi court a few days ago. “He had been absconding for over a month after being called in for questioning. After the arrest of three arrested persons — Abhishek Singh, Atul Vats and Hansu — police had called him for questioning. But after appearing twice, he started avoiding police. The court also issued non-bailable warrants against Mishra. Several teams of the Crime Branch had been conducting raids to nab him, but in vain,” sources said.

After questioning him, police arrested four persons — Suraj, Rajan, Vishal and Lakhdeep — all engineering diploma holders. “Mishra told police that he gave Rs 2 lakh to each of them to allegedly hack the system and install the Ammyy Admin software on his directions,” police sources said.
In their chargesheet, police mentioned that US-based M/S Prometric Testings Pvt Ltd failed to identify the software which had been used by the accused.

“The alleged persons, including site-supervisors, engineers and senior officials, managed to break open the security system of Prometric. Unlike other students, their selected candidates got internet access on their exam computers, which helped them connect remotely with computers outside the examination hall,” police said, adding that Mishra used the software to put students in touch with agents outside, who would then solve the papers.
After his arrest, Mishra was sent to five-day police custody. “Mishra told police he was a site supervisor of a Noida college where NEET was held in 2015. But he did not help anyone at the time. He later discovered that supervisors from another college had allegedly earned money after helping some students. He then met a lab technician at a Noida college, and hatched the plan. He was later asked to be the site supervisor of a college in Chandigarh and he asked Abhishek Singh and Atul Vats to start looking for students,” sources said.

Source: The Indian Express

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Prometric not to conduct NEET PG 2017 after the hacking scam

Prometric not to conduct NEET PG 2017 after the hacking scam


New Delhi, Sep 1 : The US-based company Prometric Testings that until now conducted the National Eligibility and Entrance Test Post Graduate (NEET-PG) has said it will not be conducting the winter exam in 2017.

The National Board of Examinations (NBE) and Prometric have mutually agreed to part ways, the company said in a statement on Friday.

The NBE will now look for a new partner to conduct the November-December examination for the NEET-PG.

Introduced in December 2012, NEET-PG is an eligibility-cum-ranking examination prescribed as the single entrance examination to various MD/MS and PG Diploma Courses as per Section (10) of Indian Medical Council Act 1956.

As the testing partner, Prometric administered more than 400,000 NEET-PG exams to students over the last six years. However, in July the testing company admitted to Delhi Police that their software “can be breached”.

The November-December exam would have been the last administration in its partnership. However, following students demand for single-day testing the contract ended, it said.

“We are extremely disappointed to not be administering the winter NEET-PG administration under the circumstances,” said Soumitra Roy, Managing Director, Prometric India.

“We will continue to support NBE in a smooth transition of its programme in the best interests of students and test takers,” the company added.

The Delhi High Court on August 21 sought reply from the Centre and the police on a plea seeking court-monitored CBI/SIT probe into the alleged illegalities in the NEET 2016, conducted by Prometric.

The company said it has provided the authorities access to their key technology and operations experts. “We proactively continue to support the authorities in their investigation,” it said.

/IANS

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Prometric confirms that the software can be hacked

Prometric confirms that the software can be hacked



The US-based company that conducted the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) — held to admit students into postgraduate medical courses in December, 2016 — has admitted that their software “can be breached”. The company, Prometric, told this to the Delhi Police via teleconference, as part of the investigations into alleged hacking of the examination software, which allowed students to cheat.

The 20-page chargesheet, prepared by the central range of the Crime Branch, also states that the accused planned the hacking way in advance — even telling aspirants which examination centre to pick so they could cheat. As first reported by The Indian Express, the Delhi Police had arrested four people in connection with the case, and established that the servers used to conduct the examination were hacked. The chargesheet also states that supervisors of two examination centres in Chandigarh and Greater Noida, where the exam was held, helped some students cheat.

In the course of their investigations, police found that the exam-controlling body, the National Board of Examination (NBE), had given the contract to conduct NEET PG (2017) to M/S Prometric Testings Pvt Ltd. “They had sub-contracted with CMS IT Services Pvt Ltd to hire engineers, site supervisors and other staff to prepare exam labs and for actually conducting the NEET (PG) examinations at various exam centres from December 5 to December 13. Later, CMS IT Services Pvt Ltd had further tied up with M/S Apex Services to provide manpower and technical staff at the examination centres,” police stated in their chargesheet.

Police said the “agents and sub-agents” were active through the year in search of candidates ready to give money for a good rank. “After finding such candidates, the sub-agents informed senior agents, who had direct links either with the candidates or their parents. These agents were in constant touch with site supervisors, engineers and officials, who got posted at examination centres. They only advised the candidates or their parents to choose a particular examination centre,” a senior officer said.