It has been an especially tense admission season for students, with semesters in most degree courses delayed and the candidate selection process in a mess. The prolonged legal fight over the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) has ensured that admissions to medical and dental courses have just started, even as students are still confused whether students from outside Maharashtra will also be eligible for admissions.
The government’s decision to conduct a Common Entrance Test (CET) for law courses has delayed admissions.
Starting with confusion over the validity of the state’s Common Entrance Test (MH-CET) for medical admissions, to forcing the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) on lakhs of students across the country, the seemingly neverending wait for admissions to medical and dental courses is also taking a toll on students’ health, said parents.
“Just the thought of taking separate entrance tests left my daughter stressed. The confusion over NEET scores and the question of its validity for admission to private institutes has made it worse,” said Richa Mehta, a parent.
After much confusion over NEET scores, an ordinance passed by the President of India on May 24 said CET scores will only be applicable for admissions to government institutes whereas private and deemed institutes will have to follow NEET scores. However, the trauma was not over. Soon, deemed institutes called for a separate admissions process following which a circular by the health ministry suggested combined or centralised admissions to finish the process before September 30. “Our aim is to finish the process as quickly as possible, without stressing students out,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, Directorate of Medical Education and Research.
Admissions to degree courses at the beginning of the year had hit a rough patch owing to indecisiveness of officials at the University of Mumbai. With no final decision on an online service provider to conduct registrations, the admission process came to a standstill for almost two weeks after Class XII results were announced. The admission schedule was twice revised.
This was a year of many firsts. The state introduced an entrance examination for law colleges. This was also the first time that all teaching colleges, including the private ones, were made part of the state’s Centralised Admission Process (CAP). A CET cell was created to carry out admissions in 22 courses. Poor coordination among various state agencies and central regulatory bodies, such as Bar Council of India (BCI) and National Council for Teachers’ Education (NCTE), ensured that the law and teaching admissions continue till October. “The Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) contacted the BCI very late,” said Ashok Yende, director, University National Law School at MU. “If the admission process takes three-four months when will we teach? It’s unfortunate and the students will have to suffer. The government may cut down on vacations,” said a city college principal.