With less than six days left for the Maharashtra Common Entrance Examinations (MH-CET), reports that the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) will be made compulsory from this year itself has made students anxious.
While the state government is still deciding whether to request a review by a higher bench of the Supreme Court or file a fresh appeal, officials are also sure that MH-CET examination will be held according to schedule.
“MH-CET has to be conducted because students are giving the test not only for medical courses but for engineering courses as well. So the exam will be conducted,” said an official from the government. This year, 4.09 lakh students in state have registered for MH-CET this year out of which at least 3 lakhs are aiming at engineering colleges. However, the next step for the state government is still unsure. “We need to examine this judgment of the Supreme Court before taking a stand. But it’ll be unfair to students if at the last minute we decide not to hold the MH-CET examination,” said Kiran Patil, deputy secretary, higher and technical education.
The SC has ordered a two-phase single common entrance test for MBBS, BDS and post-graduate courses. While the phase one examination will be held on May 1 with the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT), the second phase will be held on July 24. Results will be announced on August 17.
Even as the state government is still deciding on the future course of action, several coaching class owners feel this move will put students under a lot of pressure. “NEET is only applicable for MBBS and Dental courses, but what about students who want to opt for paramedical courses like homeopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, etc? These students will have to appear for the MH-CET so the state government will have to hold the examination on May 5,” said Saurabh Joshi, from a city based coaching institute. He added that the SC should have given advance intimation to students, and not add to their anxiety at the last minute.
The biggest worry of the students is that for the past two years their preparation for the entrance examination has been based on the state board syllabus, while NEET will not consider the same. “The state government needs to take a clear stand in this matter, because it’ll be unfair to leave us in the lurch,” said one of the candidates. She added that many of her friends are now planning to apply for a crash course in preparation for NEET second phase. “This also means we’ll end up pumping more money for coaching,” she added.