A week after the Maharashtra government scrapped the state-conducted Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to health science courses — effectively ending the confusion about medical entrance tests in the state — parents and students are full of questions.
They have said there is lack of clarity about the 85% domicile — students from the state — seats in private institutes. They also want more information on what students need to study to prepare for the entrance test in 2017.
“While we were verbally told in 2016 that 85% seats in private institutes will be kept for state domicile, no such announcement has officially been made. Similarly, we are not sure if admissions to deemed institutes will be conducted by the state or by institutes themselves in 2017,” said Sudha Shenoy, parent of a medical aspirant. She added that the parents of students who will appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) in 2017, will soon meet to discuss these problems, before they meet officials seeking clarity.
Officials from the Directorate of Medical Education & Research (DMER) told HT that the domicile issue was settled in 2016. “85% seats in private institutes will be kept aside for students of state domicile. We will release a statement about this. However, there is little we can do about the syllabus for the entrance test. Hopefully the central government will release clear instructions soon,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director, DMER.
Parents said the CET being scrapped came as a blessing to children as they will not have to go through a series of entrance tests. However, they added that there is still some ambiguity. “The NEET website mentions that students have to study the NCERT syllabus as well the ‘common state board syllabus’. The problem is that there is no common syllabus across our country’s state boards. So what do our children study?” asked another parent.
In 2016, the Supreme Court mandated that admissions to all medical and dental seats be conducted on the basis of NEET scores only. After a series of petitions filed against this order, it was finally decided that for 2016, admissions to seats in government institutes will be conducted based on state CETs while private and deemed institutes will depend on NEET scores. To avoid confusion, earlier this week, the Maharashtra government made it very that NEET is the only applicable score for health science courses, whereas CET will be conducted only for engineering and pharmacy admissions from 2017 onwards.
Medical and engineering entrance admission tests underwent a series of changes after 2012
In 2013, the state scrapped the medical entrance test and conducted admissions based on the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET)
For 2014, after the Supreme Court scrapped NEET, the state conducted its own CET examinations, based on the NEET syllabus
In 2015, the new government conducted the medical CET only on the basis of state board syllabus
For engineering admissions in 2014 and 2015, the state gave 50% weightage to scores in the JEE (Main) conducted by the CBSE and 50% to Class XII board marks
In 2016, the Supreme Court once again lifted the ban on NEET. It proposes to conduct admissions to MBBS, BDS and post-graduate courses through one common test