The Union Cabinet on Friday cleared an ordinance to defer the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) by one year. National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is a single entrance exam for all the medical colleges in the country, conducted by the Central Board of Examination (CBSE).
The big question that now looms is, whether NEET is beneficial for students or not? Here is a quick primer about what NEET is and how can it change the medical admission system in India.
The Supreme Court had earlier declared that the AIPMT held on May 1, 2016 be treated as the first phase of NEET. And students who could not appear for it are eligible to apply for the second phase of NEET that will be held in July.
What is NEET?
National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is a common entrance test for admission to undergraduate MBBS and postgraduate MD courses. It was proposed to be implemented from 2012, however it was postponed for various reasons. And in 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the petitions filed against NEET and declared that Medical Council of India (MCI) will not interfere in the admission process. And now in 2016, NEET was cleared for implementation in April by a five-judge Constitution bench which indicated that MCI and the Central govt should play a pivotal role in medical admissions.
Why is NEET a bad idea?
If NEET is not in place, students will have different options available to them. With multiple examinations happening, they can afford to score less in some and high in others. Since NEET is conducted by CBSE, students from other state boards might face difficulty in coping-up with the course.
Also, those students who couldn’t appear for the first phase of NEET and are applying for the second phase, are at an advantage from those who sat for the former, as they get more time to prepare for the exam.
Why is NEET a good idea?
If NEET were to be set as the sole means to get admission into a medical college, the multiple layers of medical exams will no longer exist. That is, eminent institutions like AIIMS will not be able to hold different admission test for their institute.
Also, since NEET will take place in two phases, students who could not apply for the exam in May, can still apply for it in July.
NEET will not just avoid multiple entrance tests, it will also reduce corruption in medical admissions and homogenize the entire process in the field.