By Dr Dharmakanta Kumbhakar
Rejecting all the opposition for holding a single common entrance test for admissions into the MBBS and BDS courses all over the country by some States (Tamil du, Andhra Pradesh, Telanga, Uttar Pradesh), Association of Kartaka Medical Colleges and CMC, Vellore; the Honorable Supreme Court has ordered on April 28 that the selections for admissions into the MBBS and BDS courses all over India should be held through ‘tiol Eligibility Entrance Test’ (NEET). The order had implied that selections for admissions into all the MBBS and BDS seats in government medical colleges, deemed universities and private medical colleges of the country would be covered under the NEET and the process of conducting separate entrance test by the state administration or local bodies stand scraped. The apex court said that the NEET for the academic year 2016-17 will be undertaken in two phases. The All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) held on last May 1 will be treated as NEET-I. Those who did not appear in AIPMT would appear in NEET –II on July 24 and the combined result would be declared on August 17. The court has clarified that any challenge on the issue would come directly to them. No High Court can interfere on it. The Union Health Ministry has welcomed the order and it is geared up to help the Medical Council of India (MCI) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to conduct the NEET successfully this year.
As per Director of Medical Education, Assam; according this system the distribution of seats in the MBBS and BDS courses in Assam will remain same as previous years. Out of 726 seats for the MBBS courses in the medical colleges of Assam, 15 percent seats would be filled up from the all India candidates. The state candidates may be eligible for these seats also. The remaining 85 percent seats would be reserved for the state candidates. These seats would be distributed amongst the state candidates according state Government rule and regulation as per merit list prepared on the basis of the NEET. Out of 40 seats in the Regiol Dental College, 24 seats would be filled up by the students of other North-Eastern States and the remaining 16 seats would be reserved for the state candidates as per merit list prepared on the basis of the NEET. Earlier, the Dibrugarh University used to conduct the joint entrance test for admission the state quota seats. The joint entrance test for this year was scheduled to be held on May 14 and 15. But due to the Supreme Court verdict the office of the Directorate of Medical Education, Assam has postponed the test and all the students seeking admission in the state quota seats must appear in the NEET.
If we see the matter it seems to be correct as the total numbers of the state quota seats remain same. A single examition for admissions into the MBBS and BDS courses all over the country is good. With due respect to the Supreme Court verdict, we must say that the students of Assam studied under Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) especially in Assamese medium will face serious problems in appearing in the NEET.
In Assam most of the Higher Secondary School and Colleges follow AHSEC syllabus. Only few schools and colleges of city areas follow CBSE syllabus. Though the CBSE and AHSEC syllabus is now almost similar, but there are some differences which would put the students of AHSEC in disadvantageous position in the NEET as it will follow only CBSE syllabus. Morover, most of the higher secondary students from rural areas and small towns of Assam study in Assamese medium. The NEET would be held only in English and Hindi. The students who studied in Assamese medium under AHSEC curriculum will find problem to appear in the NEET. Earlier, the Dibrugarh University used to conduct the joint entrance on the AHSEC syllabus both in Assamese and English. So the state students who studied higher secondary level under AHSEC syllabus in Assamese medium did not have any problem in appearing the state joint entrance test. The meritorious students from different areas of the state irrespective of curriculum and medium shined in the joint entrance test. Therefore, till when the CBSE and AHSEC syllabus become same, the school and colleges of the state get all-India level academic infrastructure and Assamese medium is not included in the NEET, most of the meritorious students of small towns and rural areas of the state will be deprived from selections for admissions into the MBBS and BDS courses. The coaching centres in the states will take the advantages for preparing the students for the NEET. The meritorious students from poor families and villages will be deprived as they have no money to pay the coaching centres fees.
Morover, it will be not justifiable to select candidates for admissions into the MBBS and BDS courses all over the country for the academic year 2016-17 through two examitions (NEET-I and NEET-II). When there will be two examitions, there will be two question papers. It will be not justifiable to prepare one merit list based on two different question papers. The students appearing in NEET on July 24 will get more time for preparation. According us, if we have no altertive but to conduct the NEET, then the NEET-I held on May 1 should be cancelled and there should be one new NEET for all candidates. The NEET should be in Assamese along with English and Hindi for the state candidates.
The State Government should approach the Supreme Court seeking review its order. The Government should immediately take up the matter seriously so that till CBSE and AHSEC syllabus become same and the school and colleges of the state get all-India level academic infrastructure, the NEET should be stopped and the state joint entrance test should be continued. The concerned authority should take up the matter so that when the students from the state appear in the NEET, they must be allowed to appear in the Assamese medium also. Meanwhile the Apex Court has stareted to hear a fresh plea of a few States and some private medical colleges that the entrance test being held by them for admissions in MBBS and BDS courses should be allowed to go on as per schedule.
(Mobile No. 9864517168, Email-drkdharmakanta @yahoo.com)