Recently, the Supreme Court through its order permitted the CBSE to conduct the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to undergraduate medical and dental courses for the year 2016-17 in two phases. There are mixed response from students and various stakeholders on this long awaited decision on National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test.
Every time when this issue of single entrance exams has surfaced, as it has been there for a long time, it has confronted numerous challenges. Aspirants of becoming doctors who have not been in a habit of appearing in competitive exams, for example in Tamil Nadu, for securing admission in Medical Colleges and students whose syllabus of class eleven and twelve does not tally with the syllabus of CBSE are surely going to be at disadvantage who have to appear in the second phase of the test.
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Why National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test
No one can deny the fact that there are some regional sentiments which are working in fanning the opposition against the decision of the Supreme Court. And this is not without any substance as the single entrance exam is certainly going to bereave States or private colleges of their rights to hold separate exams and grant admission to students following their own procedures.
However, this issue must be analysed keeping in mind the interests of the larger student fraternity as it has a broader canvas.
A student who aspires to be a doctor, in the current system, goes through a series of exams. Differences in syllabus and exam patterns, far- away exam centres, and date clash etc. make it quite burdensome for students.
In light of these difficulties it is certain that the system of single entrance exam can take away a lot of stress from students save the money as well. In addition, National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test can assist in checking the unethical allotments of private seats. And the most important aspect of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test is that it can certainly create the path for selections based on merit.
The Cause of Protest Over National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test
One reason that can be held responsible for the Supreme Court order favouring the single medical entrance exam is the timing of the exam as well as the order of the SC. Medical aspirants, until a few days ago, were busy concentrating on preparing for a exam based on a pattern. Then, all of a sudden, they come to know about a all new pattern which they have to handle right in in the examination hall. The most intriguing fact is that many students are not familiar with even the question pattern, what to say of the syllabus! For example, students of Tamil Nadu are not familiar with the multiple – choice questions; it is imperative to mention here that the State has already abolished entance examinations for professional courses. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, and Gujarat hold common entrance test that is based on their own respective higher secondary syllabus.
There can be no denying the fact that there is an obvious difference of difficulty level of questions asked in State entrance exams and the All India Pre Medical Test(AIPMT)/National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). The point that the time provided for the preparation of the phase-11 of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test is insufficient holds ground, especially for those who had been preparing for the State CETs only.
The Way Ahead
The intention behind the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test cannot be questioned; however, it must be ethically implemented universally across all States from 2017 instead of 2016. This can be the only way students can have the sufficient time for preparation for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test.
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