The last of the Maharashtra Health and Technology - Common Entrance Test (MHT-CET), the combined entrance test for engineering, pharmacy and health sciences degree courses in the state, will be held on May 10. The state director of medical education and research (DMER) has issued a notification declaring that the MHT-CET 2012 will be held on May 10. A detailed programme, including the schedule for submission of pleas, will be announced soon, stated the notification issued on January 16.
The DMER is the competent authority for the entrance test. The announcement comes against the back drop of the pro-longed debate, which prevailed for last six months, over the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), which the Medical Council of India (MCI) initially proposed to conduct from academic year (AY) 2012-13 in a bid to have a single entrance test for medical degree courses across the country. Maharashtra, along with Assam, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, had opposed introduction of NEET from 2012-13 on the ground that students would require some more time to switch over to the new system and get fully acquainted with the syllabus prescribed by the MCI.
On December 19th, 2011, the MCI told the Bombay high court that it would not implement the NEET from AY 2012-13, but would do so from the following AY 2013-14. The court was then hearing a bunch of petitions filed by the state government, the Association of Medical Colleges and some students. Speaking to TOI on 17th Tuesday, officiating DMER, Praveen Shingare said, We (the state government) have given our commitment to the Central government that we will be part of the NEET from 2013-14. In a letter to Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had also said “that the NEET be introduced from 2013-14”.
Effectively, the MHT-CET will have to go forever from next year. The combined entrance test, which annually draws over 3 lakh professional course aspirants from the state and outside Maharashtra, was introduced from AY 2004-05, following the Supreme Courts landmark verdict of August 2003, regarding fees and admissions to professional courses. It’s not just the engineering, pharmacy and health sciences courses, but the MHT-CET score is also considered for admissions to the veterinary science sciences course (B.V. Sc and AH).
The enrolment for MHT-CET in 2011, had gone up by 6.10%, from 2.85 lakh students in 2010 to 3.02 lakh students in 2011.While the test is conducted by the DMER, the centralised seat-allotment process, after the results, is conducted independently by the DMER for the health sciences seats and by the director of technical education (DTE) for the engineering and pharmacy seats. The state has close to 325 engineering colleges, which collectively account for over 1.21 lakh seats. Similarly, there are more than 300 health sciences institutions including those offering medical, dental, homeopathy, ayurveda, unani and siddha studies while the pharmacy colleges are numbered around 150.
Courtesy: Times of India