Starting from May 2013, in the past few years, medical admissions has faced a lot of changes, when the NEET exam was held for the first time for admissions to medical and dental courses. The same exam was duly scrapped by the Supreme Court in September 2013, forcing state governments across the country to conduct their own entrance exam for health science aspirants (based on CBSE syllabus).
But now, it seems that admissions to dental and medical colleges located throughout the nation are bound to get tougher this academic session with almost 11.5 lakh aspirants registering for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) 2017. Last year, NEET was conducted in two phases and the total number of candidates stood at 7.5 lakh. There are around 56,000 seats in medical and dental institutes across the country.
This is because last year many students ended up skipping the entrance exam as NEET called for the CBSE syllabus and most students were dependent on state board syllabus for their state-conducted entrance examinations. Along with fresh candidates, most who took a drop of a year will also be vying for these seats this year.
Again in the year 2016, SC once again reinforced the compulsion on NEET and making it the single window entrance exam for admission to all medical and dental institutes in the country, exempting only the most reputed institutions such as AIIMS and JIPMER. While for 2016, state governments were allowed to conduct CETs for admissions to state government-run institutes, SC made it clear that from 2017 NEET will be the only exam applicable for admissions to medical and dental colleges. NEET 2017 will be held across the country on May 7, 2017.
Why NEET – A Grand Success
The conceptualisation of NEET as a single national eligibility exam that addressed the pain of lakhs of aspiring medical students who criss-cross India to write over 100 entrance tests is fair enough. A fair and simple test, modelled on examination systems like SAT, GRE, TOEFL proposed just last year despite opposition from states and individuals across party lines has become a grand success. Yes, there hasn’t been scarce argument in against of it but nothing of much substance.
According to the MCI official website, the total number of MBBS seats is 49,990. Out of this, 24,660 are in private colleges while the total seats in government colleges are somewhere around 25,330. Till last year, the government medical colleges offered admission on the basis of AIPMT or CET conducted by various state governments in a so-called transparent manner. But things underwent change, now CET has been replaced by NEET with no major controversy.
But, the first controversy over NEET relates to the 24,660 medical seats in private colleges. For this, the private colleges need not worry for their management quota seat as well as for the minority institutions will continue to have the same number of medical seats as before NEET. But, the admission to those seats will be based on NEET ranking, thereby maintaining the spirit of private enterprise and objectives of minority institutions.
Rural children need not worry that medium of paper, for if the past records of AIPMT or CET are taken into consideration, for 24,660 MBBS seats in private colleges, more than 100 entrance tests were conducted in English. Weren’t the children from the rural background able to crack then, hence why not now? Why discourage oneself when the upcoming youth can turn all impossible things to possible. A vital piece of information: Supposedly, the NEET gets conducted in your regional language but MBBS at most places will be taught in regional language, it is being taught and will be taught mainly in English. According to MCI regulations, only students who have passed the 12th class English paper are eligible to join medical college irrespective of their medium of education. Historically, students could not join medical college in India without proficiency in English.
Talking about the syllabus, for 24,660 private medical seats, over 100 entrance tests are done not based on any specific syllabus. Prestigious colleges like CMC Vellore and St John’s Medical College have their own style of conducting entrance tests with integrity, not based on any syllabus.
History is proof that many of the experienced doctors with fire in the belly and magic in their fingers, who have changed the face of medicine, come from deprived backgrounds. NEET is the last chance to give all the privileged and underprivileged students of India a fair chance at a medical education, and build a corps of dedicated doctors that will ensure a healthy future for our country.