CBSE has no role in deciding eligibility criteria for NEET

The CBSE clarification came following several complaints about barring open school candidates and those with biology as an additional subject in Class 12 from appearing for NEET. Photo: Mint

The CBSE clarification came following several complaints about barring open school candidates and those with biology as an additional subject in Class 12 from appearing for NEET. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The CBSE has clarified that it has no role in deciding eligibility criteria for medical entrance exam, NEET, and grievances, if any, should be submitted to the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The clarification came following several complaints received by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) about barring open school candidates and those with biology as an additional subject in Class 12 from appearing for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET).

“The responsibility of CBSE is limited to holding the NEET (UG) examination, based on the eligibility criteria provided by MCI. CBSE has no role to play in deciding the eligibility conditions,” the board said in an advisory.

Students who have pursued schooling through National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS)/ State Open School or those who studied biology or biotechnology as an additional subject in Class 12 are ineligible to appear in NEET.

“Therefore, all the grievances received by CBSE on these issues are disposed of. Candidates are requested to kindly read the information bulletin and FAQs hosted on NEET website before sending grievance to the board in any form,” it added.

This year, NEET will be held on 6 May. Online application process began on 8 February and 9 March is the last date to register. The last date for successful payment of fee online is 10 March till 11.50pm.


YouTube Studio: better insights or a work in progress?

Will YouTube Studio’s new metrics be better for marketers?

In June of last year, YouTube announced that Creator Studio was about to change. A beta version named YouTube Studio was undergoing testing with hundreds of thousands of users – or should I say ‘creators’.

After nine months of nurturing their new baby, YouTube Studio was unveiled last week. Promises of efficiency, empowerment and increased joy, packaged with new features, metrics and insight. The increased data commitment has been played-up by YouTube.

But did the much anticipated promises deliver? Well, sort of.

YouTube Studio features include three new metrics: Impressions; Impressions Click-Through Rate; Unique Viewers. YouTube says these will give us better understanding of video performance with the aim of helping us produce more impactful video.

What’s an Impression? It’s when a viewer sees one of your video thumbnails; Impressions tell us the potential reach of our videos. It’s an ‘opportunity to view’.

What’s Impressions Click-Through Rate? Simply put, it’s the percentage of Impressions that turned into a video view.

What’s a Unique View? Well, to quote YouTube, it shows us “the estimated number of different people who watch our videos over a period of time.”

And there lies one of my issues. Data should not be estimated. We should be able to know the difference between a unique view and a repeat view. Why is YouTube estimating metrics? As for the ‘opportunity to view’ this just feels like a return to a time when we couldn’t accurately measure irrefutable data. perhaps it’s just me, as I’ve always hated fluffy measurements. In my PR and creative agency days I was forced to peddle PRVs and ‘Opportunities to See’. I hated both.

YouTube’s intent of delivering better insight and metrics should be applauded. It’s a key facet of success for other social media channels and absolutely is the direction they should be taking their Studio platform. Data that helps to evolve the production quality and impact of our videos is welcomed. I just can’t help but feel like this is a work in progress, rather than a refined proposition that’s ready to roll.

I’ll explain why: YouTube tell us that if we’re seeing a low percentage of Impressions convert to Impressions Click-Through Rate, then our thumbnail and title require work. That may be correct in some cases, but we can’t ignore how busy some pages are with thumbnails. Watch a video through to completion and then see how many thumb nails are served to you. It’s busy. Undoubtedly, Impressions will be recorded when users haven’t seen our thumbnails. To be fair though, the same criticism could be made of other social media channels.

Clearly, the Impressions Click-Through Rate is a useful metric. Being able to asses video performance will be insightful. I’m just not sure we needed the Impressions metric.

Now for the good news: we’re excited about YouTube Studio Dashboard – the single view of your data, insights and news. We’ll see three pieces of insight here:

Video Snapshot: A snapshot of our latest video performance, versus past videos – over the same period of time. Quickly, we’ll be able to ascertain if we’ve a production that is resonating, or if refinements are required. This should help us do more of what works, and learn from what isn’t.

Personalised Recommendations: YouTube says this will surface Creator Academy content based on our specific needs. Over time, we’ll also see insight into why certain videos perform better than others. Again, this will help with refinement and development.

News: Dynamic news and community information that is served to us. Meaning we don’t have to discover news, it finds us.

We expect Video Snapshot and Personalised Recommendations to be a real hit with users and the single view definitely receives a thumbs up. It’s just a shame we can’t be as positive about the new data metrics.

Data is resolute. The challenge with data is that it’s sometimes unstructured, requiring a framework to organise and help make the unstructured, structured. Data isn’t, and should never be estimated.

There is no denying that YouTube is onto something with their direction for YouTube Studio. In its current state though, it should be in production, rather than distributed for release. After nine-months of testing, you have to ask who was testing the platform, and why haven’t these basic flaws been flagged sooner?

As my old school tutor would say: “a good effort, but work still to be done!”


Mickey and Minnie AR Emoji arrive in time for Galaxy S9 launch


If you think the Galaxy S9’s personalized AR emoji creations are creepy, well, you’re right. But as teased by Samsung at its launch event in MWC a few weeks ago, some familiar Disney faces are joining the robo-avatar party. Both Mickey and Minnie will be available starting today — coincidentally, the day that the S9 and S9 plus go on sale. It’s just the start of Disney’s AR emoji series. Samsung says more will come throughout the year and will include The Incredibles cast and (yes!) Frozen. Ugh, just as long as it’s not Olaf.

Samsung could do with the help. Its AR Emoji are divisive, and aren’t quite as slick as the iPhone X’s Animoji. That said, they’re two very different takes on face-tracking augmented reality. AR Emoji crafts new avatars for every user it scans, while there’s only a limited selection of Animoji to toy with on the iPhone. We’re yet to test it out the Disney additions on our review Galaxy S9, but by the sheer simplicity of Mickey’s design, we’re hopeful for a less creepy outcome.


Spotify to launch music streaming service in India to stay ahead of Apple

Spotify to launch music streaming service in India to stay ahead of Apple

The world’s largest music streaming service, Spotify, is looking to bring its service to India, one of the fastest-growing internet markets in the world, as it looks to boost growth and stay ahead of rival Apple.Announcing Spotify’s plans to list on public markets on April 3, CEO Daniel Ek said the Stockholm-based company was planning an entry into some of the largest markets in the world. Spotify is taking a rather unusual path to go public and will directly sell shares to the public.”We are working on launching in some of the biggest markets in the world, including India, Russia, and Africa, which have a very rich musical culture,” Ek said during his presentation. He said that post IPO, the company would continue to focus on growth rather than turning on the profit machine.While no further details were divulged on when Spotify could launch its service here or its pricing in the country, the company did disclose in its IPO filing last week that it has leased office space in Mumbai. The company has also made ex-Googler Akshat Harbola as its Head of Market Operations in India.Plans to enter India and other fast-growing markets comes as industry analysts say Apple’s rate of signing up new paid subscribers is far outstripping that of Spotify’s. In the US, the largest music streaming market in the world, Apple Music could beat Spotify in the next few quarters to become the leading player there.Despite its service not being available in India, there already are several thousand users in the country who use Spotify via VPNs. Spotify said that the awareness of its brand among users in India is already high, alluding to the fact that the company would be able to achieve organic growth in India.However, India’s market for music streaming is witnessing a marked shift now.

While Times Group-owned Gaana, which recently received $115 million in funding led by Tencent, currently leads the India market in terms of a sheer number of users, competition in the space is becoming cutthroat.In India, Apple charges the lowest subscription fee for its Apple Music service anywhere in the world. While a person in the US pays $9.99 every month to access Apple Music, in India the monthly charge is just Rs 120 or under $2. However, the company has failed to make a big dent in India largely due to its lack of regional content.Amazon, the latest entrant into India’s music streaming space is offering customers access to its Prime Music as part of its Rs 999 yearly Prime loyalty programme. The company has already scored millions of users via its video streaming service and free expedited delivery service, but has also tied up with several large regional music producers to bring their content on its platform.Spotify will need to drop its prices from $9.99 per month to something more affordable in India if it wants to grow its base of paid users in the country. It will be seen if the company can maintain the same pricing here but still convert a free user to a paid one in under 12 months as it claimed was its average during its financial presentation yesterday.