While the number of aspirants for engineering has been declining, there has been a rise in the number of those seeking admissions to medical courses.
The number of students registered for the last engineering entrance test dropped by around 52,000 candidates across India; but the Common Entrance Test (MH-CET), a gateway for undergraduate courses at state medical colleges, has seen an increase of around 41,000 applicants over last year.
Around 1.94 lakh students have registered for MH-CET 2015 compared to 1.53 lakh registered last year. The exam is scheduled on May 7. This year, around 7,500 seats are available for undergraduate medical courses including MBBS, BDS, and BSc Nursing conducted by state medical colleges.
The test is conducted by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and the last day for registration was March 27.
Pravin Shingare, director, DMER said, “Recently, there has been substantial decrease in number of students opting for engineering courses. Some of them are shifting to medicine. Also, we have scrapped negative marking for this year and the test will be based on the state board syllabus. These factors have attracted more students towards MH-CET 2015. “
As reported by HT on January 13, there was a drop of around 52,500 students registered for Joint Entrance Test, Main (JEE Main-2015), which took place last month. Around 13.35 lakh students had registered for the JEE Main exam compared to last year when around 13.56 lakh students registered for exam.
In February 2015, the state higher and medical education minister Vinod Tawde had announced that the CET for medical college admissions will be based on the state board syllabus. MH-CET was reintroduced in 2014. In 2013, the medical entrance test was based on syllabus of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
Aspirants said medicine offers more career options. “There are several new courses in medical colleges and more job opportunities. Since the quality of faculty in most engineering colleges is poor, students are increasingly opting for medical entrance test,” said a student on condition of anonymity.
In Maharashtra, for 2014-15, more than 40% of engineering seats remained vacant, according to data released by the state’s higher and technical education minister during the winter session of the assembly.
Steady rise in numbers
1,94,000 – Approximate no. of students registered for MH-CET 2015
1,53,000 - Approximate no. of students registered for MH-CET 2014
1,50,000 – Approximate no. of students registered for NEET 2013
Separate exams from last year
Till 2012, students would appear for MH-CET in two sections (health and engineering). However, since 2014, two separate entrance exams are conducted for medical and engineering courses
Around 7,500 seats are available for undergraduate courses conducted by state medical colleges starting from an academic year 2015-16
‘Trend might change in coming years’
Snehalata Deshmukh, former vice chancellor of University of Mumbai and former dean of Sion hospital, said, “The inclination towards medical education has increased with more number of courses other than MBBS coming up in last few years. Several students are opting for paramedical courses including physiotherapy, pharmacy and other streams such as Ayurveda, Yunani and homoeopathy. However, this trend might change in coming years if there are fewer job opportunities.”