NEET, JEE exams 'useless'? Unacademy CEO responds

Gaurav Munjal, CEO of Unacademy, recently addressed the significance of standardized exams like JEE, NEET, and UPSC. A Mumbai-based doctor, Aniruddha Malpani, criticized Munjal’s stance on these exams, suggesting they are futile. Munjal defended standardized exams, emphasizing their merit-based nature and their transformative impact on individuals’ lives. He highlighted the importance of these exams in maintaining fairness and order in the education system, contrasting them with legacy admissions prevalent in Ivy League universities.

The CEO of Unacademy in his response said the next time you visit a hospital, consider requesting a doctor who gained admission through the management quota rather than NEET. He said that these exams are based on merit and are among India’s finest creations. The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test or NEET s an all India pre-medical entrance test for students who want to gain admission into MBBS, dental and other courses.

“50-60% of all admissions in Ivy League Universities in US are legacy admissions or through Donations. We must take pride in the fact that these exams still exist. They bring fairness and sanity to an otherwise broken system,” Mr Munjal said.

In response, Malpani argued that Munjal’s perspective only considers success stories, overlooking the struggles of countless students who invest years preparing for exams but fail to secure admission. He criticized the exams for favoring affluent candidates and questioned their efficacy, labeling them as detrimental to human potential and opportunity cost.

Mumbai-based doctor Aniruddha Malpani is an IVF specialist who passed out from Bombay University. According to his website, he founded the world’s largest free patient education library, HELP , at and has authored many books , including How to Get the Best Medical Care.

— gauravmunjal (@gauravmunjal)

Users on X, the platform where Munjal shared his thoughts, expressed varied opinions. Some users proposed reforms to limit exam attempts and lower age criteria to facilitate opportunities for candidates to reshuffle and succeed within a reasonable timeframe. Others defended the exams, acknowledging their role in providing a fair chance to all aspirants, albeit imperfectly. They cautioned against dismissing the exams entirely, recognizing their broader significance in the educational landscape.

Recently comments by Sanjeev Sanyal, a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), has sparked a wider debate on usefulness of standardized exams like UPSC, IIT-JEE and NEET. Sanyal had said that dedicating 5-8 years to preparing for civil services exams is a misuse of youthful energy. According to Sanyal, individuals should only pursue the UPSC or similar exams if they aspire to become administrators.

He emphasized that while attempting the exam once or twice is acceptable for those genuinely interested, spending the entirety of one’s twenties solely on exam preparation is unhealthy. Sanyal highlighted the widespread agreement among bureaucrats, many of whom also share his viewpoint. He criticized the significant resources devoted to exam preparation, such as in cities like Kota, where only a small fraction of applicants succeed each year.

Sanyal suggested that redirecting such efforts towards other fields could be more beneficial.

Harry Byrne

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