Controversial exam

It is surprising that NEET scares politicians and parents more than students (“Why the side effects of NEET are much more damaging than the disease it claims to cure”). NEET is a common platform for aspiring students to get themselves prepared for facing the needs and requirements of the medical profession, which is to be well-respected.

Unfortunately, many students wants to enter this profession without having the basic requirements. Most of the state governments like Tamil Nadu have downgraded their education standards to accommodate students from reserved categories and are gifting away the profession, which needs high calibre as it is directly connected to healthcare.

The names of medicines are written in English, most of the diseases have English names, the leading medical journals are in English, discussions and conferences are held in English.

NEET is not a language test it is a competence test. The concerned state governments can give away the degrees in advance rather than rejecting NEET. Substandard has been the standard of the day for such states which have rejected NEET.

I do not want to go to a doctor who is ill-prepared and lacks knowledge of disease and medicine. For that reason, none of the politicians will go to such doctors and would rathergo abroad for treatment. These states do not the want cream but rather want to retain the husk. Gopal Chiv


Please respect the order of the Supreme Court on NEET, which has more advantages than disadvantages since there will be more chances of getting into a medical college.

There is nothing wrong in the conducting the exam. Many students I know are happy with this decision. This will also end the huge corruption in the country and the exam is a genuine way of selecting meritorious students.

By opposing NEET, you are only denying those students a seat. And there is also enough time to complete the syllabus. Ultimately, the deserving students will get selected.

Thus I request you to support NEET rather than oppose it, as it is a golden opportunity for the students to prove themselves. M Shyamalika


I am not saying that the Supreme Court’s decision is wrong. The aim behind it is indeed good, but it has been implemented at the wrong time as far as students’ interests are concerned. Abhinav Purohit


I am also a citizen of this country and would feel ashamed of the whole system if the claims made in the article are true. But the whole construction of the point is flawed. The main premise of the article is that by holding NEET, the CBSE students will have an unfair advantage. There cannot be anything further from truth.

The fact is NEET is only a mean of grading the students. From that graded list of students, any kind of group can be carved out with an intra-group merit list.

The accusation in the article that it is a well planned move to plant the mediocrity of CBSE schools on every state board and school is not based on facts. It is only using a rhetoric to fan a fear psychosis among the public. We should refrain from such fanciful thinking. Dr Arun Gupta

Notable omissions

An excellent and commendable look into the past of this country, encompassing much of what many middle-class Indians silently believe about the pre-1991 era (“India before 1991: Has liberalisation really improved life for every Indian?”). However, the author has completely failed to mention the reasons why we “liberated” our economy, such as the collapse of the USSR, the “third world” kow-tow to the “West”, India’s extreme humiliation of India at the hands of the International Monetary Fund, including flying our reserves to the US as collateral.

These humongous global changes are omitted and we are left feeling as if the post-1991 country we live in was created willfully and (perhaps) foolishly by us, whereas the truth of the matter is simple: we had no choice, and that’s where the debate should now be directed. We have not still achieved that freedom to choose, and that is the real problem. All in all a great article but perhaps lacking a bit of a broader perspective. Anant Narain

Alarming culture

We Indians hanker after democracy and the implied right to decide how we should be controlled (“Why the Supreme Court ruling on criminal defamation bodes ill for the future of free speech in India”). At the same time, we will be absolutely irrational, even arrogant, in defending authority.

The impossibility of jailing a politician, bureaucrat, or rich person by using the law underlies this culture that publicly refuses to remove outdated laws, amends existing laws to suit reigning power brokers, and spreads poverty instead of wealth. All those aspiring for a better life have this the tendency, but Indians cultivate it. Ralph Coelho

Incorrect generalisation

As a former military veteran, I would just like to point out that the term “security forces” is generically used to refer to the army and a host of paramilitary forces (“’No one is safe’: In Chhattisgarh’s villages, women complain of sexual assault by security forces”). The correct use of terminology matters as it tends to give a bad name to those otherwise not involved, especially when it comes to such grave matters as indiscipline among forces or alleged sexual assault. Deepak