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Wary of NEET, medical aspirants may pick engineering, add to scramble

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Times of India | Adarsh Jain | TNN | Mar 14, 2017 |

It is a common phenomenon every year to see a significant number of applicants absenting themselves during the first session of the Anna University coordinated engineering counselling. The absentees would have se cured a seat in MBBS. But this year, in all probability, you may spot these possible absentees sitting through the merit admission process for engineering.  The status quo on the national eligibility-cumentrance test (NEET) has left a lot of MBBS aspirants in a fix. While those sincerely aiming for a seat in medicine will want to give their best in the entrance test, those wary about it are likely to make up their minds to take engineering. And if this happens, the competition among the top 10,000 engineering aspirants is expected to stiffen this admission season.  There are nearly 2 lakh engineering seats avail able but what matters to all the aspirants is to manage a seat in the top 25 colleges under Anna University .”A student choosing biology as hisher fourth major in Class XII always has the option of joining engineering, agriculture or pharmaceutics. About 20% of these students aim to pursue medicine, the rest are always in oscillation,” said the principal of a private matriculation school in Coimbatore.  For Tamil Nadu’s state board students (medical aspirants), the effort is double that of a CBSE student.  “The students have to perform well in the Class XII board exams to get a seat in engineering or agricul ture, which is a backup in most cases. And then they prepare for NEET which most cases. And then they prepare for NEET which is a bit strenuous as the exam is based on the CBSE syllabus,” said the principal. “At our school, the students who were in two minds till the half yearly exams have almost decided that they will take up engineering,” said the principal.

 The impact of this confusion will be severe on rural students in government schools, said a government school teacher.   While 85% of the MBBS seats in TN government medical colleges will be reserved for domiciliary quota, it is the apprehension over the ability to clear the exam that is bothering medical aspirants. “There has not been enough time and resources for state students to prepare for NEET, especially those in rural areas. Facilities in terms of material and manpower to train the students for the state boards are ample,” said the teacher. “So, a student would logically prefer to focus on Class XII board exams rather than take the risk of clearing NEET,” she added. Educational consultants predict that there could be about 1,000 more students participating in the engineering admission. “They will be among the top performers and will thus make the competition for top colleges tougher,” said education consultant Moorthy Selvakumaran. “We give a lot of counselling to such students who are in two minds. Sessions are held with their parents too. These students play spoilsport,” said Selvakumaran. –  Courtesy

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