From a rank of 799 in last year's common entrance test for medicine to becoming the topper in the state this year, Vivek Tiwari’s journey through the ranks has been a gamble.
“I would have got into a medical college outside Maharashtra last year. But I didn’t opt for it because I could not afford the hostel fees,” said Tiwari, 19, the son of an autorickshaw driver.
From the family’s monthly income of Rs9,000, Rs5,000 would have been spent on hostel fees alone.
“It would have been difficult for my family,” said Tiwari, a student of RD National College, who now plans to join KEM and become a neurosurgeon. Tiwari’s coaching class tutored him for free.
Tiwari was among the lakhs of students who appeared for the entrance test to engineering and medicine courses (MH-CET), results for which were declared on Tuesday. While ranks were given to medical aspirants, engineering aspirants only got their scores.
But while Tiwari was rejoicing, several others who took the CET with him were not happy. This year, the percentages of students qualifying for both engineering and medicine have dropped.
An analysis of the past few years shows a decline in the performance of students in both streams despite more students taking the test.
In the medicine entrance test (physics, chemistry and biology), the percentage of students qualifying for admissions has halved from 24% in 2008 to 12.01% this year.
The engineering entrance (physics, chemistry, math) scores have also dropped. This year only 37 students scored above 190 out of 200 compared to 183 last year.