NEET-UG for admission to medical courses will be held on May 5, 2013
The Central Board of Secondary Education on (CBSE) on Saturday, issued admission notice for the first-ever national common entrance test — National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test-UG — for admission to the MBBS and BDS courses for the Academic Year 2013-14. The CBSE announced Neet will be held on May 5, 2013.
The CBSE has begun taking online applications from students after announcing the schedule for NEET. As for the students in Andhra Pradesh, in the absence of a court order, there is no clarity on whether Neet is applicable for them or not. For the moment, the pre-medical aspirants, and the state government, have pinned their hopes entirely on the Supreme Court’s ruling on whether, or not, Neet will be exempted. The state government is also not able to help in this context as the case in pending in the Supreme Court.
The government had earlier approached the Andhra Pradesh High Court against Neet which stayed the test in the state. However, the Medical Council of India approached the Supreme Court over the issue and a judgement is awaited. With the High Court’s stay, the students and parents were expecting the government to conduct its own entrance test, the Engineering, Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test (Eamcet) for medical admissions in the forthcoming academic year.
The CBSE’s admission notice on Saturday took the student fraternity here unawares. They are concerned double-time as the notice comes at a time when the scenario on Neet has yet to be cleared by the apex court. Even Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy wrote to the Centre twice seeking exemption from Neet this year. The Union government, however, remains silent on this.
The only silver lining to the cloud it that the CBSE has agreed to provide the questions in Telugu for the convenience of Telugu Medium students as half students of the total 98,000 applicants who opted for Eamcet in 2011 were from the Telugu Medium.
Minister for medical education Kondru Murali and principal secretary of medical education department Ratna Kishore refused to comment on the issue saying that the matter is sub judice. However, they have advised students to apply for Neet as a “precautionary measure”. Officials said in case the Supreme Court exempts Andhra Pradesh students from Neet, the state government will conduct Eamcet medical test in May 2013 as per schedule.
For the moment, the students are more concerned if they have to sit for the Neet exam perforce. For one, the Neet syllabus does not match with the state’s — many of the topics have not even been covered here.
Further, Neet will be held only in five centres — Hyderabad, Nellore, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Warangal — which in itself is a problem for students from far-flung places. Eamcet was held in about 190 centres across the state in 2011. Only five centres mean students from other parts of the state will have to incur additional expenses, in terms of travelling, lodging and boarding.
Further, the Neet fees are much higher — Rs 1,000 for general-category students and Rs 550 for SC/ST candidates, while all Eamcet candidates had to pay Rs 250. As per the schedule announced by the CBSE, students have to apply only online, from December 1 till December 31. Neet will be a three-hour off-line exam like Eamcet. There will be 180 objective-type questions.