Even as the Union cabinet Friday cleared an ordinance deferring the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for a year for state boards,many aspirants in the state may still have to take the second phase of the test on July 24.
According to the ordinance, students seeking admission to medical and dental courses in government colleges this year can apply through the common entrance tests held by their respective states. Admissions into private colleges will be done through NEET scores.
Of the 6,205 seats in the state, only 2,810 are in government colleges. Admissions to these will be done through Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MH-CET) scores. The remaining 3,395 seats — 1,720 in private colleges and 1,675 in deemed colleges — will be filled through NEET scores.
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“Ideally, the government should have passed a blanket ordinance allowing admissions to all medical seats through MH-CET scores for this academic year,” said Dr Keyur Cholera from Mindsetters, a coaching institute for medical entrance exams.
However, he said the ordinance comes as a relief for students from economically weaker sections of the society who are targeting government colleges only. “This is only half the battle won. For general category students, securing a seat in a government medical college will be tough. My son might have to write the NEET II,” said Sudha Shenoy, one of the parents who had been protesting against the Supreme Court verdict that made it mandatory for medical aspirants to appear for NEET.
“We will wait for the results of MH-CET. If my daughter’s scores are not good enough to get a seat in a government colleges, she will appear for NEET II,” said Ruiee Kapoor. MH-CET results are expected on or before June 1.
The parents, however, agreed that the ordinance comes as a relief to students from the state board who were not comfortable with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum on which NEET is based.
“The decision has made us believe in democracy,” said Shreedevi Poduval. Her daughter, Shweta, will wait for the MH-CET results before deciding on whether to take NEET II.
Meanwhile, State Education Minister Vinod Tawde thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for exempting state board students from NEET for this year.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, thanked the PM and the central government.
“Grateful to Hon @narendramodi ji & GoI for postponing #NEET by an year! It has brought relief to lakhs of students,” Fadnavis tweeted.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray thanked the CM and the PM for their prompt action in the issue.