BENGALURU : Vijaylakshmi, an MBBS aspirant from the city, is relieved that despite not clearing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), she will be allowed to go abroad to pursue medical education. She is, however, angry with authorities at the Centre for making students go through a rollercoaster ride.
The Medical Council of Indian (MCI) finally granted a one-time exemption to students who took the NEET, but did not clear the exam, to go abroad. A petition was filed by aggrieved students in the Delhi High Court and the judgment came a few days ago.
The MCI had put a rule in place making the exam compulsory even for students looking to go abroad from this year onwards. It had, so far, been a requirement only for those studying medicine in the country. After petitions by a number of parties, the court granted a one-time exemption for those who did not take the NEET. This had made medical aspirants in the city and across the country anxious, as many, like Vijaylakshmi, had given the exam, but had not cleared it.
“I was planning to prepare for the NEET a second time and devote all my energy to it. However, now, with the new directive by MCI, I will start looking for colleges abroad. I am glad that I will not be losing a year,” says Vijaylakshmi, who wants to study in Russia. She, however, feels that the entire problem could have been avoided. “Authorities such as the MCI are playing with the lives of students by bringing in such rules hastily,” she adds.
Preeti C Nair, another medical aspirant from the city, says the entire year has been stressful for her. “I studied hard for my Class 12 board exam, and did well too. However, I did not get the requisite marks in NEET — I was not able to focus, especially since there have been so many changes in the rules.”
With the latest court ruling, Preeti says she can now concentrate on applying to colleges. “I'm from a middle-class family with a single mother. We cannot afford the high fees at private medical colleges. Many of my friends have got in by paying around `70 to `80 lakh. But my limit is around `30 to `35 lakh, for which I need to take an education loan,” says Preeti, who is also looking at applying to countries like Russia and China.
Saju Bhaskar, president, Texila American University, a medical school in the Caribbean, says, “The intake for many colleges in India and overseas is ending in September. The problem is acute for students who passed out from state boards like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where students scored good marks in their board exams, but failed to clear the NEET.”