Bangalore/New Delhi: Even as the Supreme Court's verdict on National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical and dental courses is awaited, private colleges have started conducting their own entrance exams. Caught in the middle of the Centre versus state tussle are thousands of students who have no idea what the future holds for them.
In February 2012, the Medical Council of India announced the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test, an all-India exam for entrance into MBBS and Post Graduation courses. The idea was to simplify the admission process and do away with multiple entrance exams conducted by each state and private medical college.
Several state government and private colleges raised objections and took the MCI to court. Asking for more time, the Supreme Court asked the MCI, state universities and private institutions to conduct their respective entrance exams but not declare results till further orders from the apex court.
"We don't know which state or private institute has decided to go ahead with its own exam and which ones have agreed to adopt NEET," said a student. "We're having to criss-cross the country, spending money on travel and admission tests without knowing if it will come to any good," added another.
The students also allege that the real reason why state governments and private institutions are resisting a common entrance exam is because it would make under-the-table transactions difficult. "We all know that medical seats are sold like vegetables, they don't want to clean the system," said a student. "The going price for medical seats is anywhere between Rs 1 to 2 crore. Why would they want to simplify the process," another medical seat aspirant questioned.
But the association of private colleges, such as the one in Karnataka, have rubbished these allegations. An all India common entrance examination can not only streamline the entire admission process but also make it more transparent. As MBBS and PG aspirants run from pillar to post, they are desperately hoping that the confusion will not cost them an entire academic year.