The number of students registering for the state-conducted common entrance test for engineering and pharmacy (MH-CET) has reduced by a mere 6%, despite the fact that the test no longer serves as gateway to health science courses.
As the registration process for CET came to an end on Thursday, around 3.84 lakh aspirants enrolled for the test, compared to 4.09 lakh last year. However, the latter figure includes thousands of health science aspirants who are now required to take National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions.
Until last year, MH-CET held the key for pharmacy, engineering and health science courses. But this year, the state decided to use NEET score for all health science courses, including MBBS and BDS.
Data from state’s Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) reveals that physics-chemistry-mathematics (PCM) group of CET, which holds the key for engineering and pharmacy courses, saw 1.43 lakh registrations this year, up from 1.26 registrations last year. On the other hand, 94,000 students opted for physics-chemistry-biology (PCB), which opens the path for pharmacy, down from 1.41 lakh registrations in 2016. Till last year, PCB combination was for both pharmacy and health science courses. This year, it’s just for pharmacy. Compared to 1.47 lakh applicants in 2016 and 1.42 lakh in 2015, there was a little change in the number of students opting for the above two options, known as PCMB group.
According to experts, the continued popularity of CET suggests that students, by and large, rely on the state entrance test to get into a professional institute. “State CET is a relatively easier examination compared to NEET. As a result, many students appearing for NEET also register for CET for more options. If they are unable to crack the national-level test, they could still pursue pharmacy through CET,” said Subhash Joshi of Science Parivar, a coaching class in Borivli.
Dayanand Meshram, joint director, DTE, said the trend also seems to suggest the demand for professional courses such as engineering and pharmacy is on the rise. “This year, we conducted district-level workshops for principals to increase awareness about professional courses and educate them about the CET application process. The process itself was smoothened and went on for one-and-a-half month, allowing more aspirants to register,” he said.
MH-CET 2017 registrations*
Physics-chemistry-mathematics (PCM) - 1.43 lakh
Physics-chemistry-biology (PCB) - 94,000
Physics-chemistry-mathematics-biology - 1.47 lakh
Total registrations - 3.84 lakh
(As of 4:30pm, the number may increase slightly)
MH-CET 2016 registrations
PCM - 1.26 lakh
PCB - 1.41 lakh
PCMB - 1.42 lakh
Total Registrations - 4.09 lakh