NEW DELHI: In what could bring relief to lakhs of aspiring medical practitioners in the country, the Centre has decided to take into consideration the syllabi of all State boards while framing examination papers for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) from this year.
Some experts, however, said it would be difficult to base the question papers on multiple syllabi.
Till last year, NEET exam papers were based on the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus, which left State board students at a great disadvantage as there is a significant difference in the syllabi for Physics, Chemistry and Biology in many states.
“Today we had a special meeting (on NEET) and we have decided that we will take into account curricula of all State boards while framing the question paper for NEET so that students of State boards are not at any disadvantage from this year,” Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar told The New Indian Express in an interview.
“This problem should be resolved now and states should have no reason to complain anymore. Students of any State board will now not be at a disadvantage when it comes to NEET,” Javadekar said.
NEET-UG 2018, the test for admission into all MBBS and BDS courses in all government and private colleges — except All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research — is expected to be held in the first week of May.
EXPERTS have, however, said it would be difficult to base the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) question papers on multiple syllabi.“So close to the final publication of the examination schedule and syllabus, I do not know how much the government can do. Also, it won’t be an easy task to base examination papers on so many curricula. I hope this does not lead to further confusion in the minds of students,” said a member of the Medical Council of India.
In an interview, Union Minister for HRD Prakash Javadekar said that following a SC direction last year, the examination will be held in Urdu as well for the first time from this year. This is in addition to 10 languages it is already being held in - Hindi, English, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya and Kannada.The SC, while hearing a petition filed by Student Islamic Organisation of India, had asked Centre to include Urdu as a medium from the 2018-19 session.
The CBSE has been conducting NEET, which replaced the All-India Pre Medical Test and many State pre-medical examinations since 2013.Sources in the CBSE said the official notification for NEET 2018 is expected by the last week of this month when the syllabus, exam date and other details will be released.
There were massive anti-NEET protests in Tamil Nadu last year after the State was denied the exemption it got the previous year.
A 17-year-old Dalit medical aspirant Anitha, who had got 98 per cent in the State Class XII boards but failed to crack NEET, had committed suicide, triggering an uproar across TN. Ever since, hundreds of coaching classes, both government-run and private, have sprung up in the State to make students NEET-ready.
It was in 2006 that the TN government abolished the entrance exam and granted admission to medical and engineering courses based on the Class XII State board marks, saying it allowed students from villages and small towns to pursue higher education. Around 12 lakh students across India had appeared for NEET last year for about 63,000 MBBS and BDS seats.
Notification by Jan-end
The official notification for NEET 2018 is expected by the last week of January when the syllabus, exam date and other details will be released, said a CBSE source.