MUMBAI,KANCHAN SRIVASTAVA : The apex court’s order directing the Medical Council of India to hold the National Entrance and Eligibility Test (NEET) from this year itself has put hundreds of medical aspirants from Maharashtra and other states in a fix. They are supposed to prepare for an exam which is not only based on a different syllabus, but is also to be held within three months.
The order has also put a big question mark over the fate of state-level CET, which is slated to be held on May5. While the state CET is based on Maharashtra board syllabus, the All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Test (AIPMT), now NEET, is crafted on CBSE syllabus. Over 1.4 lakh students have applied for CET. It is unclear, how many of them have applied for AIPMT as well.
Soon after the ruling, nervous state candidates watched TV, surfed new websites and called each other and authorities for clarity but to no avail. There was no communication from the state medical education department or education minister Vinod Tawde in this regard till the time of going to press.
The apex court has said that the AIPMT, which is already being conducted by the CBSE, would be considered as NEET. However, to accommodate all those aspirants from across India who had not applied for the AIPMT, which is scheduled for May 1, the court has asked the CBSE to hold another phase of the NEET on July 24. The application form for the second phase would be available from May7.
This implies that medical aspirants from Maharashtra and other states, who haven’t applied for the AIPMT before, would now get less than three months to prepare for the NEET, whose syllabus and pattern both are quite different from the state-level CET, says Dr Sagar Mundada, president of Maharashtra Resident Doctors Association.
“We are fed up with the frequent changes in entrance exams in India. Since the interim order of the apex court on April 11, we were not able to concentrate on studies. This would affect our performance but nobody seems to care,” said a Mumbai aspirant.
The last-minute decision of the court has not only affected the candidates but also the authorities. The directorate of medical education, the body which conducts the CET, has already spent lots of money, energy and time in inviting forms, booking exam centres and printing question papers among other things.
AT A GLANCE:
AIPMT, which is scheduled for May 1 and for which 6,67,637 candidates are to appear at 1,040 centres in 52 cities, including abroad, will be considered as NEET-1. This will protect the interests of students who had already applied for this entrance test.
NEET-2 will be conducted for the remaining candidates, and the entire process, from collection of information from states to declaration of results, will begin from May 7. NEET-2 will be held on July 24.
NEET results will be published by the CBSE on August 17.
Maha insists CET be held on May 5, to file review petition in the SC
Adding more to the confusion, the state government has announced that it would file a review petition in the Supreme Court against its Thursday order. “We are still going through the judgement but our stand is clear. We would file a review petition against the SC order on Monday,” state medical education secretary Medha Gadgil told dna. About CET, Gadgil said, it would be held as per schedule for all the courses, including MBBS and BDS, for which the apex court has mandated NEET.