Uncertainty over the proposed National Eligibility and Entrance Test for admissions to MBBS/BDS Courses for 2012 continues, with no clarity yet on many aspects of the examination.
The only development as per the UG NEET link at the official website of the Medical Council of India, http://mciindia.org/NEET/NEETUG.aspx is an announcement which reads as follows “The deadline for receiving feedbacks on NEET-UG syllabus is over. The feedbacks have been forwarded to concerned authorities for necessary action. The total number of feedbacks received as of midnight of 11th August 2011 were 1,970”. Even the Official site of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, http://mohfw.nic.in/, which has a link to ‘Medical Education’, is silent on NEET 2012.
There has not been any official announcement so far on the most important aspect of the examination, the structure of the Examination. Reports in media point to an examination of the objective type with questions from, Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology. But in such an important examination, clarity on such aspects have to be made officially much before the notification comes out since the prospective students have to prepare for the examination based on the structure of the examination.
AIPMT, one of the largest Medical Entrance Examinations in the country, conducted by the CBSE, for admission to the 15% All India Quota seats for the MBBS/BDS Courses in Government Medical and Dental Colleges in the country, is a two stage examination, the first being the AIPMT Preliminary in April first week as a qualifying examination and the second being the AIPMT final, being held in May, the deciding examination for the purpose of ranking. Both the examinations are of the objective type.
The Preliminary Examination of 3 hours duration had one paper containing 200 objective type questions (four options with single correct answer) from Physics, Chemistry and Biology (Botany & Zoology).
The Final Examination, also of 3 hours duration, for those qualifying in the Preliminary, had one paper containing 120 objective type questions (four options with single correct answer) from Physics, Chemistry and Biology (Botany & Zoology).
Candidates needed 50% marks in the Entrance to find place in the rank list. Relaxation in marks is there for SC/ST and OBC students. AIPMT is being conducted in the paper- pen mode.
In every possibility, the prospered NEET is likely to be an extension of AIPMT. With NEET turning to be a single entrance for medical admissions, the number taking this examination is likely to go up as compared to those taking AIPMT. So a two stage examinations itself may be doubtful. But these are all speculations. Only an official announcement can clarify this aspect.
The date (dates?) of examination has not come out yet. This can depend on the nature of the examination. If the AIPMT pattern is to continue, it would be a two stage affair, or else, it will be a one day affair.
The fate of admissions to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi; Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puthussery, Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU, Varanasi etc., which are National Institutions, is also uncertain at this stage. AIIMS, JIPMER etc had been having their own entrances for MBBS admissions. BHU used to have two sources of admission with 15 % seats being filled through the CBSE AIPMT Counseling and the remaining through the two stage entrance of BHU itself. The big question before medical aspirants is whether these institutions will also come under the purview of the NEET. Being Government institutions, it is expected that Government would not take a decision otherwise.
The Post Examination activities also are to be announced officially. The general feeling is that NEET is only a replacement for the multiple entrances for admission to the MBBS/BDS courses and that neither the Central Government nor the MCI will have any role in admission processes of other Governments/Institutions. Different States, Universities and Institutions have their own admission processes and also reservation policies for these courses now. NEET is expected to be used only to rank their applicants for admission to their courses. This will just mean that the State/University/Institution concerned will not have to conduct an Entrance test on its own.
The fate of other entrances in the medical stream including the AIPVT (Veterinary Entrance) and the Agriculture Entrance Examination is also to be known. It is to be known whether these examinations would continue or not. In Kerala, the dates for the Medical Entrance Examinations have already been announced. If Kerala joins NEET, then the State level examination would turn out to be one for Medical Courses other than MBBS/BDS. But is such a separate entrance necessary for other medical courses is also a big question.
Since the syllabi for almost all medical entrance examinations- whether it is for MBBS/ BDS/ Nursing/ Veterinary/ Agriculture etc- are almost the same, the plus two syllabus approved at the All India level, another examination can put only some additional strain on the students. If the aim of the authorities is to reduce the strain of the students, the NEET can be an eligibility test for admission to the other medical courses also. But such a thinking is yet to take off, it seems.
The most important fact is that, the future of medical aspirants for MBBS/BDS in the country is going to be decided by this single examination, from this year. Till last year, a candidate had multiple entrance examinations to get admission to MBBS/BDS Courses. With the introduction of NEET, it is expected that this would be the only way to get admission to MBBS/BDS.
With the time running away, NEET seems to be running into rough whether. It is high time the authorities make some specific announcements on NEET 2012.
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