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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014
Is that a NEET idea?
Gauri Kohli, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 30, 2013
First Published: 13:26 IST(30/7/2013)
Last Updated: 13:35 IST(30/7/2013)

The Supreme Court’s verdict quashing the National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test (NEET), that was introduced as a single entrance test for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses in medical and dental colleges across the country, has left the major stakeholders disappointed. Students, their parents and teachers  are confused and apprehensive.

‘Not the right move’
The move will reverse all attempts of the Medical Council of India (MCI) and health ministry to rationalise undergraduate and postgraduate medical admissions in the country.

NEET was aimed at easing the pressure off candidates taking multiple entrance exams. It’s understood that the government is likely tothink of requesting for a review of the order.

According to Dr Arun Agarwal, former dean, Maulana Azad Medical College, “To bring NEET into existence was a joint effort of the health ministry and the MCI. The latter worked in tandem with the National Board of Examinations and the Central Board of Secondary Education to conduct NEET PG and NEET UG, respectively. As a medical educationist, I am very surprised and disappointed with this decision.

Students will again have to travel from one city to another, spend time, money and energy on getting a seat in the 381 medical colleges for about 47,500 seats, leading to a waste of resources. It will take away hope for a merit-based medical education.”

Aakash Chaudhary, director, Aakash Education Services Ltd, agrees. “Cancellation of NEET is unfortunate. It was an excellent step to standardise admissions to medical and dental colleges in India. Students are disheartened after the verdict. They are confused on what would be the eventual format for medical entrance now. This has majorly impacted students who have been preparing hard since the last one-and-a-half year on the new pattern.”

Students too, are unhappy. “It has come as quite a surprise to me and my classmates who are preparing for the medical entrance examinations to be held in 2014. NEET was formulated and implemented with the  noble intention to streamline the examination process. A single test would not only reduce the burden of appearing for different examinations, it would also standardise the basis of admissions to medical colleges in any part of India, reducing corruption by restricting private colleges from accepting high fees for seats which are not allotted on the basis of merit,” says Aditya Chaubey, an aspirant. He feels that candidates from remote areas will be particularly affected as they don’t have proper means to apply for and to travel to different centres to appear for many exams.

The way ahead
“The old AIPMT and state-level PMT entrance format is likely to be restored now. Alternatively, the government may decide to retain NEET for government colleges and exempt private colleges from participating,” says Chaudhary.

Students say that the scrapping of NEET will change their preparation strategies for next year. “Our study pattern for the next academic year is likely to be altered. There are chances of AIPMT being implemented again. This will give us respite as far as the syllabus is concerned. Both NEET and AIPMT are based on the CBSE textbooks and a good rank in AIPMT too can get you admission to any good medical college. It won’t be as easy as NEET though, owing to fewer seats,” says Shreya Sharma, another ­aspirant.“The old AIPMT and state-level PMT entrance format is likely to be restored now. Alternatively, the government may decide to retain NEET for government colleges and exempt private colleges from participating,” says Chaudhary.

Students say that the scrapping of NEET will change their preparation strategies for next year. “Our study pattern for the next academic year is likely to be altered. There are chances of AIPMT being implemented again. This will give us respite as far as the syllabus is concerned. Both NEET and AIPMT are based on the CBSE textbooks and a good rank in AIPMT too can get you admission to any good medical college. It won’t be as easy as NEET though, owing to fewer seats,” says Shreya Sharma, another ­aspirant.


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