TN Fingers Crossed Till Final SC NEET Order on Tuesday
CHENNAI: Senior officials of the Tamil Nadu Health Department are anxiously waiting for the final order by the Supreme Court on the National Eligibility Entrance Test for medical admissions that is expected on May 3, hoping that the separate legislation the State enacted in 2006 has enough strength to hold against the apex court directive mandating the common test.
In cities like Chennai, meanwhile, coaching centres are gearing up to run short-term coaching classes for the stream of students, who now have to compete with all the thousands of medical seat aspirants in the country.
Much before the order, the authorities here had announced the sale of application for the MBBS and BDS courses from May 9. As per the earlier notification, merit list will be declared on June 15 with two-phase counselling — in July and August. Classes were scheduled to begin on August 1.
“As on date, the apex court did not restrict the State from going ahead with our own admission procedures. The final order is scheduled on May 3. Till then, we have no restrictions,” a senior Health Department official, who has been stationed in Delhi in connection with the case since Thursday, told Express. The officials here are hopeful that the State’s case would be considered as a special case since it had enacted a separate TN Regulation of Admission in Professional Courses Act, 2006, which has established admission procedure for the State’s medical colleges.
Here in the State, only Class XII board exam marks are considered for admissions for the medical seats.
There are many concerns that have been raised from various quarters about the order. Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi argued before the court in the morning that it was difficult to hold NEET this year in two phases, as State medical entrance exams were on, many were coming up and many already over. He suggested that the first phase of NEET scheduled for May 1 be scrapped and all the students be allowed to take the exams on July 24. The AG added that there was a lot of confusion arising out of the order.
The court, however, refused to pay heed, pointing out that it had heard all parties before passing the verdict. “We will not examine this again now. Let the exams continue [as per schedule],” Justice Anil R Dave told Additional Solicitor-General Pinky Anand.
Experts point out that this delay in medical admission will have a cascading effect on engineering admissions, as it is a common practise for a large section of students to apply for both with priority for medical stream.Meanwhile, coaching institutes here are gearing up for a surge in enrolment, as they expect students from State board, opting for coaching classes. “Up until now, medical aspirants from State board have been concentrating only on board exams. But from now on, they need systematic coaching to do well in the common test, which only coaching centres can provide,” Jean Thomas John, assistant director of city-based Aakash Educational Services (TN) told Express.
It is erceived that CBSE students have an advantage over their State board peers, as the test is based on CBSE syllabus, and they start preparation during Class X. “With NEET, State board students should also adopt a similar procedure to stay in the race,” said Christopher Jebaraj, managing director, Apollo Academy in Chennai.
Tamil Nadu has been voicing its opposition to NEET since it was mooted in 2011, stating that it would discriminate rural students taught in Tamil medium. It was felt students who had access to coaching were favoured. “There is no uniformity in in terms of curriculum and medium of instruction. It would be unfair to evaluate students from different state syllabi using the same yardstick,” said educationist S S Rajagopalan.
Test as per schedule: court
The SC on Friday said the entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses for 2016-17 will be held as per schedule through the single common National Eligibility Entrance Test on May 1 and July 24