TNM spoke to aspirants of medical courses across the South Indian states to gauge students’ feelings on the question.

news Education Friday, April 29, 2016 - 18:08

While the Supreme Court approved the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance test on Thursday, confusion still reigns in many states across the country, particularly in the South, where strenuous objections have been raised by state governments and educational institutions against being included under the ambit of the common medical exam.

The News Minute spoke to aspirants of medical courses across the South Indian states to gauge students’ feelings on the question.

In Karnataka, the state’s Common Entrance Test (CET) for engineering, medical and architectural courses, is scheduled to be held on May 4 and May 5. According to reports, officials in Karnataka are now unsure about the fate of the CET.

For medical aspirants in Karnataka two major concerns arise as a result of the NEET schedules. Firstly, students are concerned that their preparation time, already disrupted by re-exams in the pre-university (PU) board exams, is again affected by the uncertainty over the CET.

A student from Christ University in Bengaluru on condition of anonymity said, "We have already been very disturbed by the PU paper leaks for the last one month and this has come when there are just five days to go for the Common Entrance Test for engineering and medical courses. There was already hardly any time to prepare for CET, with so many re-exams."

While preparation time bothers students, the long delay of the NEET schedule also bothers many students. “We all know medicine is a 5.5-year course with two years of mandatory rural service. Now if the college is going to start late we would be spending close to 8 years before getting a job. Considering the background people come from, especially girls, even a six-month delay in completion matters," said Rachana Raghu, a student from Deeksha at Surana Independent PU College at Kengeri in Bengaluru. 

Rachana adds that the delay will also force students who are undecided between medicine, engineering and architecture to choose one of the latter two options simply because those admissions would be held earlier. "I want to write entrances for all the three courses but I really want to take up medical. Now if I clear engineering or architecture, then my parents would want to take the safer road and put me into one of the other options," said Rachana.

Both aspirants feel that students should have been informed earlier or the common test should be implemented from next year so that students are prepared.

While Andhra Pradesh went ahead with its EAMCET (Engineering, Agriculture and Medical CET) on April 29, Telangana has postponed its EAMCET until the third week of May due to a strike unconnected with the NEET.  

Students in the two Telugu states are very disheartened by the confusion between the EAMCET and the NEET. K Arjun, a 17-year-old, studying in Sri Chaitanya College in Hyderabad, for instance, said “The Supreme Court is playing with students. It can ask for NEET to be adopted next year. Why does it want to impose it this year itself? It's a big headache for students as the academic year will get delayed.”
In Kerala, where the Kerala Engineering Agriculture Medical (KEAM) entrance exam was held on April 28, students are concerned both about the uncertainty between the exams, and also about their chances in a national-level exam.

“Because of this confusion, I don’t really know what my chances are at getting a seat, and I am worried about clearing this NEET exam, as around 6.5 lakh students would be appearing for the test,” said Gaurav Girish, a student who appeared for the KEAM at a centre in Thrissur.

Emphasising the emotional stress that students have to go through due to the uncertainty around the exams, he adds, “I feel NEET is unnecessary because firstly, it is now too late to conduct a new exam, and secondly, students like me who appeared for KEAM just the other day feel deceived, as it is no longer valid."

But not everybody is completely opposed to the NEET exam. In Tamil Nadu, where seats are allotted based on grade 12 exam results, some students feel that a common entrance exam will make the process more uniform and predictable.

Varshini Ramesh, a student from DAV Matriculation, said, "I think it's a good move, but the Phase I dates should be postponed. If they hold separate exams, most of the universities don't consider our entrance exams. Some colleges bank on management quota and we have to pay a lot of money. There is a high chance we will be discriminated against if there are individual entrance exams, a common test is better. But I wish we'd been informed earlier.”

 

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