The latest guidelines of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) -- the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2017 will be considered the first attempt, and aspiring doctors will get three chances to clear the test – brought relief to thousands of candidates (NEET) taking coaching here.
On January 31, the CBSE, which conducts the exams, had held candidates ineligible to take NEET this year if they had failed thrice in the entrance exams – NEET 2016 or the now-discontinued All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT).
NEET was launched last year after the Supreme Court rejected petitions challenging the single, all-India test for entry to medical and dental colleges.
Celebrations broke out at coaching institutes in Kota after the CBSE issued a fresh press release on Friday night, clarifying that the attempts made by medical aspirants before 2017 would not be counted.
“I was in a state of shock since the January 31 notification of CBSE as I had appeared thrice in NEET/AIPMT. Now I am happy and can concentrate on my studies,” said Hetram (17), an aspirant taking coaching here.
Puja Kumari, another student, said, “Now I will be able to fill the form to appear in NEET in May; CBSE’s earlier order had barred me from taking the test.”
An estimated 10 lakh students are likely to take the test on May 7. The online application system has been updated to allow previously barred students to fill their application, the CBSE said.
Kota Member of Parliament Om Birla, who met the Union human resource development minister on Friday over the demand for withdrawal of a cap on NEET attempts, said, “CBSE’s latest decision is a huge relief for the NEET aspirants who had become ineligible after the CBSE’s previous order”.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) – which governs medical education in India – held out more hope, saying it had not decided on the number of attempts candidates could take, hinting it could give more chances.