Kerala: NEET candidates allegedly forced to remove bra, NTA denies
The National Testing Agency (NTA)—which administers the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) UG—has refuted the claim that girls in Kerala were instructed to take off their bras prior to the exam on Sunday. It was alleged that metal hooks on bras beeped during security checks, compelling authorities to take the decision. The incident came to light after a candidate's father reported the same.
Why does this story matter?
For lakhs of medical students, clearing the NEET security inspection is reportedly a major obstacle. Candidates are urged to refrain from carrying papers and adhere to a rigid dress code that reportedly forbids wallets, handbags, belts, caps, jewelry, shoes, and high heels. The alleged Kollam incident seems to be an instance of restrictions being applied excessively to shocking proportions.
NTA's official statement over the incident
"There was no representation/complaint to anyone during or immediately after the examination. NTA has not received any email/complaint in this regard either," the NTA said in a statement. The NTA reportedly stated the center's superintendent, the independent observer, and the city coordinator of Kollam—all refuted that such an incident occurred at the exam center and that the candidates were permitted to take the exam.
What did the security personnel say at the center?
The girl in question was allegedly told by female security staffers at the exam center in the Kollam district that she must remove her bra due to the "metallic hook." She was warned she wouldn't be able to take the exam if she refused. "Is your future or innerwear big for you? Just remove it and don't waste our time," she was reportedly told.
More details regarding the incident
The alleged incident took place at the Marthoma Institute of Information Technology, which has reportedly denied any responsibility. The girl's parents have reported the incident, said KB Ravi, the police chief of Kollam. Additionally, they reportedly claimed that several female medical aspirants who came to take the exam were made to take off their inner garments, which were left lying around in a storeroom.
'90% of female students had to remove their inners': Father
"After a security check, my daughter was told that the hook of the innerwear was detected by the metal detector, so she was asked to remove it. Almost 90% of female students had to remove their inners and keep them in a storeroom," the girl's father reportedly claimed. "The candidates were mentally disturbed while writing the exam," he added.
'Mental state of these children was disturbed': Complaint
In his letter to the Kerala Police, the man alleged that his daughter had seen a "roomful of innerwear that was taken," and many girls were sobbing and feeling "mentally tortured." He also alleged many students cut their metal hooks and reportedly tied up their inners. "The mental state of these children was disturbed...they could not attend the exam comfortably (sic)," his complaint stated.
NTA defends NEET's exam rules, dress code amid controversy
"As far as...dress code for NEET is concerned, it does not permit any such activity as alleged by the parent," stated the NTA. "The code provides for ensuring the sanctity and fairness...while observing sensitivity toward the gender/religious/cultural/regional sensitivities involved in facilitating frisking and biometric entry of candidates." Meanwhile, Kerala Lok Sabha MP NK Premachandran has called for a reassessment of the NEET guidelines.Share this timeline