Following the Union government’s decision to limit the number of times a candidate can appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) to just three, those who took NEET 1 and 2 last year and didn’t get a seat are worried that they may have only one chance left.
Since the government is yet to put the new rules on paper, there is much uncertainty and anxiety among students and parents.
“Last year many students ended up appearing for the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) as well as the NEET exam in August, with very little preparation, just to try their luck. My son didn’t get his preferred course or institute last year and will be appearing this year too. So will this be his last attempt?” asked an aggrieved parent. With no answers forthcoming, several such questions have been doing the rounds on social media.
At a meeting in Delhi earlier this week, the University Grants Commission (UGC) decided to cap the maximum age of medical aspirants at 25 years and the number of attempts per candidate at three. Parents have since been waiting for an official statement either from the central or state government.
In April 2016, the Supreme Court made NEET the one-and-only medical and dental entrance test for institutes across the country, scrapping medical entrance tests conducted by various states. As most students prepared for these state exams using the state board syllabus, the court gave aspirants two chances to appear for AIMPT, which was considered as NEET 1 on May 1 and NEET 2 on July 24.
“It was unfair to expect students to appear for an exam based on a syllabus alien to them, so many did not do well. Since the rule about maximum attempts has been introduced only now, it should be applicable to exams conducted henceforth,” said Sudha Shenoy, another parent. Officials from the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, registrations for NEET 2017 are yet to begin. Officials from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) told HT that registrations should begin next week.