The Kerala High Court on Wednesday sought a response of the National Testing Agency (NTA) to a plea seeking a standard protocol for conducting examinations across the country in view of a recent incident at a NEET exam centre in the State where women candidates were made to remove part of their undergarments to appear for the test.
A Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly asked the NTA to file a statement and listed the matter for hearing on Friday (August 5), lawyers associated with the case told PTI.
Besides formulation of a standard protocol for exams, the public interest litigation also seeks a direction to the National Testing Agency (NTA) to permit the affected women candidates to re-appear for the exam as they might not have been able to focus on the test that day in view of the "traumatic" situation.
The plea sought also free counselling for the affected students as well as compensation for the "trauma" and "mental agony" suffered by them. Seven people were arrested in connection with the incident on July 17 after a parent of one of the affected candidates lodged a complaint with the police.
Of the seven, five were women and two were men of whom one was a NEET (National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test) observer and the other an exam coordinator. Three of the arrested women worked for an agency hired by the NTA and the remaining were employed by the private educational institute at Ayur, Kollam, where the incident took place.
All seven were released on bail by a lower court last week. Meanwhile, the NTA formed a fact-finding committee to visit Kollam.
The PIL contended that this is not the first time such an incident has happened in the name of exams and the reason was the lack of a common protocol or system to conduct exams.
(With PTI Inputs)