Puducherry government’s silence on the mode of medical admissions to undergraduate courses in 2013-2014 may cost the students of the Union territory dearly.
The confusion created by the government’s inability to clarify what entrance exams students must sit for is the last thing students need. Students still do not know whether the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET -UG) is applicable to Puducherry or not for the admission to MBBS and BDS courses from the 2013-14 academic year.
It is not clear whether admissions would continue to be based on Plus Two marks. So far the government has not come out clear on the policy for admissions, although the online window for submission of application forms for the maiden (NEET-UG) had commenced on December 1.
The last date for submission of forms is December 31. Students can submit their forms by accessing the website — www.cbseneet.nic.in — for the single entrance test in the country, which is to be held on May 5, 2013 by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi.
While in other States the State Directorate of Medical Education has posted a detailed notification related to the NEET-UG, in Puducherry there is no designated directorate for medical education. Nor is there a designated Director of Medical Education to release the information officially or give direction to students.
The government is unable to clarify as it has moved the Supreme Court opposing the NEET. So far the status of the case has not been made known either.
However, there are strong indications of admissions happening on the basis of NEET. In the information bulletin of the NEET, all medical colleges in Puducherry UT have mentioned that admission to these colleges also would be on the merit based on NEET-2013 only.
Kendriya Vidyalaya JIPMER campus, Puducherry, has been named as the facilitation centre for NEET.
Moreover, Puducherry government had not raised objection to NEET at the meeting of Health Ministers, convened by Union Health Minister on October 30.
The meeting discussed modalities for successfully putting in place NEET admissions, reliable sources said.
The worry is that several students especially those studying in government schools and from rural areas and their parents may not be aware of the requirements to appear for NEET-UG.
There would be students who may not even have applied and would be caught napping.
Even for those who know, there are many columns in the online application form that they cannot comprehend. They are clueless whether they have to fill those columns or not, or whether to specify ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Even teachers and the government are unable to give answers, as they, too, do not know.
Several states have begun preparing their students for this all India entrance test. Karnataka has opened a separate NEET cell for this purpose and has taken up capacity building of the students from mid-October, to write the NEET.
The examination authority is directly interacting with students and will be conducting mock tests from January.
However, Puducherry is yet to clear the air of uncertainty, leave alone taking any initiative of preparing its students for the highly competitive national test.
With only one government medical college under the territorial administration, Puducherry needs to act fast to prepare its students.
“Immediately on a war-footing Puducherry government should announce its policy for the MBBS/MD, whether it would be based on Plus Two marks or based on NEET marks,” said K Ramu, President, and G Gerald Moses, General Secretary of Federation of Puducherry Parents-Students, affected by region wise reservation has urged.
“Any further delay will jeopardise the academic career of students,“ they added.