Around four lakh medical aspirants across Maharashtra appeared for the state’s Common Entrance Test (MH-CET) on Thursday amid an uncertainty over the validity of the examination.
Maharashtra has filed a review petition against the court order that all states will have to follow National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) and has asked either for an exemption from the national level entrance test altogether or implementation of the same only in 2018.
The Supreme Court (SC) is likely to deliver its verdict later in the day on Maharashtra government’s plea to allow the state’s common entrance test for admission to medical and dental courses.
On April 29, the SC had cleared the decks for holding NEET for admission to medical and dental colleges. The ruling came two days before the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was scheduled to conduct the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) on May 1. The AIPMT was rechristened as NEET Phase 1.
The second phase of NEET will be on July 24. It will give an opportunity to over 2.5 lakh students who could not take the first phase of the exam. The combined results will be declared on August 17.
The SC recalled its 2013 judgement that had declared NEET “illegal” and “unconstitutional” on April 11 , saying the verdict was delivered without a proper discussion between the bench members.
Students and parents, however, are praying that the apex court decides in favour of the state.
“My daughter did go for the exam today, but she wasn’t sure if it will be of any use. Had the judgement been delivered earlier, it would have led to more chaos,” a parent said.
She added that although her daughter had appeared for NEET Phase I, she had exclusively prepared for the state entrance test.
Another parent, whose daughter had not registered for AIPMT, has pinned all her hopes on the CET.
“My daughter was nervous before appearing for the exam today, as this is her second attempt at cracking CET. She doesn’t have any plans to appear for NEET phase II on July 24, as there is a slim chance of her performing in it. We have decided to place her fate in the hands of God now,” she said.
The CET holds the key for several professional undergraduate programmes such as engineering, pharmacy, hospitality, para-medical courses, besides medical and dental courses.
Around 1.4 lakh candidates had registered for physics-chemistry-biology (PCB) combination and a similar number who opted for physics-chemistry-mathematics-biology (PCMB) combine are eligible for admission in MBBS and BDS.
However, many of these candidates opt for pharmacy and para-medical courses.