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‘NEET will help medical students save money and time’

New Delhi: The implementation of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a common entrance test for admission in undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental colleges across the country, will help students save money and time, according to doctors.

Dr Sagar Mundada
Dr Sagar Mundada

Explaining the benefits of a common entrance test, Dr Sagar Mundada, PG Resident Doctor, Department of Psychiatry at Grant Medical College and JJ Hospitals, Mumbai, told India Medical Times, “Medical students have to give as many as 44 exams for getting into various postgraduate institutes all over the country. With almost all universities taking their own exam, this puts a financial burden of around Rs 2 lakh on each student just as exam fees.”

Dr Mundada further said, “One portal of entry would mean that the foul play associated with deemed and private medical colleges will be reduced substantially as at present majority of admissions in these institutes are manipulated based on the money students offer to them.”

He also said, “Presently, out of around 50,000 seats for MBBS in the country around 23,000 are in private medical colleges or deemed universities. One common entrance examination will open a significantly higher number of seats for meritorious students.”

Dr Dhananjay Kumar
Dr Dhananjay Kumar

The Supreme Court on Monday recalled its June 2013 order, in which a three-judge bench by a majority of 2:1 had ruled that the Medical Council of India (MCI) did not have the jurisdiction to enforce common entrance test (CET) on private medical colleges, the apex court said it will hear the case afresh on validity of the common entrance test. “Till the matter is decided NEET can be implemented,” said a five-judge bench presided by Justice Anil R Dave.

Speaking to IMT, Dr Dhananjay Kumar, former consultant, Sankara Eye Hospital, Coimbatore, said, “Apart from saving time of students which they can utilise for exam preparations, this decision is also going to save money of students in buying prospectus and forms which runs into thousands of rupees. It’s a welcome and landmark judgement. This is going to change the way medical exams are being conducted. This is a much-needed step, which was required for a long time.”

Dr Gunjan Kumar, Junior Resident, Department of Anaesthesia. Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, told IMT, “This SC judgement is very nice. But like centralised exams, centralised counselling should be implemented too. There must be some mechanisms that students must opt for either centre or state; there should not be any sort of seat blockages. Sometimes, students get selected for two different seats but one student can only join at one place, in this way single student will be occupying two different seats which will lead to unavailability of seats for other students.”

Gurpreet Kaur, a BDS student of Government Dental College and Hospital, Patiala, told IMT, “It’s the nicest decision of the Supreme Court specially for a student from middle class family as this will not only save money and time but will also increase the number of seats available for meritorious students. I wish the court had passed this order early, then I would not have to give 4-5 exams.”

Speaking about the apex court’s order, Dr Rajnish Kumar, a Junior Resident at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), Patna, told IMT, “It’s very beneficial. There must be a common entrance exam, as it will reduce wastage of time and money. I would be more glad if they start conducting PG exams in one session instead of multiple sessions.”

by Pooja Pandey

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