Students taking the first phase of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) on Sunday are worried their friends will have an edge over them as they will have more time to prepare for the common entrance test for medical and dental courses.
The Supreme Court had refused to amend its day-old order on Friday and reiterated the common entrance test for all medical colleges would take place in two phases despite the Centre’s U-turn on holding the exam. On Saturday too, the SC refused to re-look at its earlier order, declining to entertain a plea filed by a group of students.
The apex court said the All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT), to be held on Sunday, would be the first phase of the NEET. The second phase of the nationwide common medical entrance test will be held on July 24.
With less than 24 hours in hand, Pratishtha Gupta was travelling to Lucknow from Gorakhpur on Saturday to take the first phase of the test.
“I was ready to take the medical entrance this year but such an announcement for NEET has made me rush unplanned and waste my precious time just a day before the exam,” Gupta told Hindustan Times over the telephone from Gonda railway station.
Gupta is not alone as many others are going through the same dilemma.
“Why only those who applied for All India Pre-Medical Test have to take the NEET first phase and the remaining have time to prepare for over two months?” Utkarsh Agrawal, a medical aspirant from Lucknow, asked.
Ever since the court’s decision, he has been focusing only on his preparation as the new order to hold NEET has blocked his opportunity to take multiple entrance tests for securing a seat in a medical school.
“We were not prepared to go for one single test. But now this is my only chance as those who appear or skip NEET 1 won’t get another chance in July,” Agrawal, who will take the test on Sunday, said.
Candidates, who will take the test on Sunday, say the decision will impact their performance and are irked that the same colleges will be covered under NEET and even the result will be declared the same day.
“This is simply partiality. The other group gets two more months to prepare while we are yet to understand what was the hurry,” said Shivendra, another candidate from Lucknow.
“NEET is fine but it should be conducted equally. All I wish is if the court has decided that this will be the only exam then why not conduct it in July for one and all to give equal chance to everybody. Right now, one group is getting additional two months to study,” Amit Singh, another candidate, said.
On the other hand, those who will write the exam during the second phase say the extra time is indeed a blessing.
“I will be taking the second phase test. I am preparing for it and may be questions from the first phase will help me prepare well,” Kartikey Khanna said.