NEET nick: Case in SC could leave Maharasthra students in a mess

Students in other states have taken the MCI to the Supreme Court over NEET. As the apex court’s decision is still pending, results due in Jan are yet to be declared

Over one lakh students who appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for post-graduation medical studies (NEET-PG) in November last year are left facing an uncertain future as the Supreme Court is yet to decide in the case. The results were to be declared in January this year.

While candidates in Maharashtra have no objection to a single national entrance exam for MBBS and MD/MS courses, their counterparts in other states have challenged the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) decision to introduce NEET-PG in place of state-conducted Common Entrance Tests (CET), as was the norm till last year.

In the exam held from November 23 to December 6, there were 1.15 lakh candidates from Maharashtra alone, while the rest of the country accounted for around six lakh candidates.

However, some states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, among others, have joined hands with about 104 private medical colleges and taken the MCI to the Supreme Court over NEET-PG’s introduction.

Dr Kishor Taori, President, Maharashtra Medical Council, said, “NEET came to be introduced for the first time in lieu of the CET, for the 2013-14 academic year.

The whole idea was to consolidate the clustered state-specific and private college entrance exams and bring them under the same canopy. It would also check malpractices, donation scams and admission related corruption especially rampant across private colleges.”

According to Taori, the current situation is “disgraceful” as the apex court is yet to take a decision. “Due to the indefinite wait, students are in a limbo. Ideally, by mid-April, students are in the midst of admission-related counselling, and by end of May, admissions are done,” he said.

Dr Ashok K Gupta, member, Board of Governors, MCI, said, “The matter is sub-judice. It’s difficult to say anything conclusively.

However, it is a pity that students are being left in a state of confusion. Until the SC reaches a conclusion in this case, colleges and states will neither get any direction, not be able to fix a course of action. I am praying that the judgment comes soon.”

Gupta added that the delay in the announcement of NEET-PG results would lead to further delays in admissions and to the beginning of the academic year. “It is a classic case of system derailment and should be corrected as soon as possible,” he added.

Vikrant Vaze, who appeared for the NEET-PG, said, “I am clueless about my future. It’s mid-April already, and there is no clarity about where I will be in the next academic year. I can’t even think of taking up a job in any hospital, as the NEET-PG result will determine whether I can continue with my education or if I should start practising.”

Echoing his sentiments, NEET-PG candidate Rutika Shaligram, added, “I lost patience and got myself admitted into the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mumbai, for a diploma in anaesthesia.

The yearly fee is Rs 30,000. However, if the NEET-PG results are as per my expectations, I would prefer to continue my studies in a government college, and pursue an MD or MS instead.”

Shaligram complained that if hers is a good result, she will end up wasting the fees she has already paid. She added, “Who knows, I may even lose a year. It’s better to take on something readily available.”

Siddharth Oswal, another student awaiting for the results, said, “Students are suffering and being made to bear the brunt of the vested interests of private colleges. It’s appalling.”

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