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I would like to draw attention to recent advertisement of Directorate of Health Service, Government of Meghalaya which reads: “Student pursuing MBBS/BDS courses against state quota seats will be made through National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).” (Shillong Times, 4th & 11th June, 2016)
For last two months it has been a very confusing time for medical aspirants of most of the States (Meghalaya did not react) with the Supreme Court directing implementation of NEET at eleventh hour when students were all set to appear in tests conducted by various states and then Centre bringing in the ordinance to exempt states from the single window entrance test.
It appears to me that the Government/Department is not aware of the Ordinance passed by the Honourable President of India on this matter.
Hindu, 24th May, 2016, reads, “ For undergraduate (UG) courses, an exemption has been made for ‘State quota’ seats in government medical colleges and private institutions for this academic session. The State government seats — both in government and private medical colleges — will be exempt from the purview of NEET regulations if the State government so opts. The exemption is only for this academic session.”
The purpose of the ordinance is to provide a firm statutory status to the concept of Uniform Entrance Examination for all UG and PG admissions, while providing a relaxation to the State governments in relation to only UG admissions for this year [2016-17] in view of their difficulties. The ordinance was required because the Supreme Court was on vacation and both Houses of Parliament had adjourned sine die on May 13. The ordinance came after pressure from State governments, which had opposed NEET on the grounds of disparity of syllabus and differences in regional languages.
Medical and dental college aspirants got some relief (but not in Meghalaya) on June 7, after the government decided that seats in state government medical colleges and government seats in private medical colleges would not be allotted on the basis of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) this year.
One thing the government and the Department should understand is that NEET examination will be based on Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and they follow negative marking. In Meghalaya 90 percent schools follow MBOSE syllabus. If government is bent on conduction NEET (2nd chance, which is on 24th Aug, 2016) 90 percent aspiring students are going to be deprived. If the government insist on NEET, then it would not be possible for MBOSE students to cover CBSE course in two months time. It is not understood as to why when the state is getting a chance to conduct its own examination, it is opting for NEET at least this year. If the government so desire they can conduct both NEET and State examination simultaneously.
When the state is reeling under massive shortage of qualified doctors, introducing NEET at this juncture will be a reverse process for the state. In any case NEET is going to be introduced as common entrance test for medical aspirants from next year all over India. So, my sincere request would be to the state Government and the Directorate to give a chance to all budding aspirants when there is a provision to conduct state examinations. Please do not deprive MBOSE students and shatter their dreams of becoming a doctor. It could be anybody’s child.