The medical entrance test by private colleges has not attracted too many candidates this year with around 24,100 students applying, a mere 3.15% more than last year.
In 2010, 23,364 candidates applied for the test, a jump of 18.4% from the previous year.
The ASSO-CET, conducted by the Association of Managements of Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges (AMUPMDC) for admission to colleges that are part of its consortium, will be held on May 17.
One of the reasons for the fall in demand is that this year several medical institutes opted out of the consortium. Premier medical colleges — KJ Somaiya in Mumbai, four institutes run by Pune’s Kashibai Navle group of medical colleges and the Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research (MIMER) — have decided to admit students based on the state’s common entrance test. Some of these institutes felt that once admitted the performance of these students was not in accordance with the high ranks they got.
“With reputed institutes opting out of the test and fees getting higher every year, students might be deterred from taking the test,” said Rajesh Jain, member of Parents Association of Medical Students. “The fees in private colleges is Rs6 lakh a year while in government colleges the fees are subsidised to Rs 25,000.”
This year, the entrance test will determine admissions to seven medical colleges, 19 dental, 41 ayurveda, 22 physiotherapy and 45 nursing colleges.
In 2002, private colleges of India moved the Supreme Court challenging the government’s rights over admitting students to their institutes. The 2003 judgment gave the private colleges the freedom to select, admit and charge candidates. A panel was formed to check if colleges were fair in admitting students.
When the AMUPMDC was formed, 14 medical colleges selected candidates based on the ASSO-CET.