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NEET : Gujarat lad tops, Odisha boy 2nd
NEW DELHI : Het Shah from Nadiad in Gujarat topped the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the results of which were declared by the CBSE on August 16.

In all, 409, 477 candidates out of a total of 802,594 have qualified the NEET I and II exams while 19,325 have qualified in the top 15 per cent. Shah topped the exam scoring 685 out of 720, followed by Ekansh Goyal of Rourkela with 685.

NEET-I and NEET-II were conducted on May 1, 2016 and July 24, 2016 respectively. Of the 15 per cent qualified candidates, 11,058 are male, 8,266 are female and one is a transgender.

According to the results 56 per cent of the students have qualified for MBBS admissions for the 2016-17 academic session.

Category-wise, 1,71,329 unreserved students have become eligible for medical undergraduate admissions, 1,75,226 OBC students have qualified; 47,183 Scheduled Caste and 15,710 Scheduled Tribe students have qualified.

Qualifiers are students who secured the percentiles MCI specified for MBBS admission eligibility in different categories.

Girls outnumbered boys among qualifiers as out of 4,09,477 eligible for MBBS admissions, 2, 26,049 are girls and 1,83,424 are boys.

The qualifying percentile for MBBS students in unreserved category this year is 50th. OBC, SC and ST students who have secured 40th percentile have qualified and physically handicapped (unreserved) who secured 45th percentile are eligible for admission.

For 15 per cent central quota seats in all state government medical colleges, 19, 325 students have qualified as per NEET scoreboard. India has 52,000 MBBS seats in 412 colleges and 15 per cent of these (nearly 4,000) are set aside as central quota MBBS seats to be filled exclusively on NEET merit. Except Andhra, Jammu and Kashmir and Telangana which haven’t surrendered any central quota seats, 15 per cent quota seats exists in all state government colleges. All private medical colleges (except on their state government quota seats) will have to admit students through NEET merit which won’t apply to states this year, unless the state concerned chooses to use it.

Sayyam Bhardwaj, CBSE’s Officer on Special Duty for NEET, said, “For 15 per cent central quota seats, Director General Health Services will hold counselling for which a programme has been uploaded on the Ministry of Health website. For state seats, students can get in touch with the respective state institutions which will get in touch with us to generate the state -level merit list for admissions and counselling.”

Asked how CBSE calculated results, Bhardwaj said the board went according to the advice of the Supreme Court-appointed Oversight Committee.

Results are available at www.aipmt.nic.in  www.cbse.nic.in and www.cbseresults.nic.in

Engineering loses lure as students opt arts
NEW DELHI : The number of candidates taking the joint entrance examination (JEE) for engineering institutes has dipped over the past two consecutive years, says a news report published in The Hindustan Times on August 8.

It said that the candidates who took the JEE dropped by 27,000 this April from last year, and by 56,000 in 2015 when compared to the preceding year.

More than a million students take the two-part test every year and the number of aspirants has risen by 20,000 to 30,000 every year since 2008.

But academics say the real story is not in the absolute numbers — which form a small chunk of the total IIT aspirants — but in the broader trend that mirrors a shift in social attitudes.

Younger generations are unwilling to follow their parent’s example and enrol in an engineering course, long considered a safe bet for an aspiring middle class, they say. Fewer cushy engineering jobs have dissuaded students further.

“More parents and students are now willing to experiment rather than take the traditional route,” said Lata Vaidyanathan, former principal of Delhi’s Modern School, Barakhamba Road.

The sliding numbers have alarmed the human resource development ministry, which is set to discuss the matter at a meeting with the IIT council next month, officials said.

The idea is also to assess if the trend mirrored a decreasing interest in science as is evident at the school level, they added.

Official data on enrolment in Indian schools show more Class 11 students opting for humanities as the demand for pure sciences drops. This, academics say, is because more people want to study subjects such as Economics and Mathematics — available under the humanities umbrella.

“Students who want to do an MBA later don’t want to waste an additional year doing engineering. They can do Economics honours or anything else,” Vaidyanathan said. “Students are more creative today. They have greater entrepreneur skills; it reflects in the choices they make.”

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta told HT he graduated from the Delhi College of Engineering before doing an MBA. “In hindsight, I would have rather done an honours course in Economics and then MBA. It would have saved me a year,” he said.

Coaching institutes said the dip was because of falling standards of education in India, which produces 800,000 engineering graduates annually from 3,000-odd registered technical institutes.

“Engineers are not getting good jobs as earlier. There has been a reduction in the number of students coming here,” said Naveen Maheshwari, director of Allen Institute in southeast Rajasthan’s Kota — a popular coaching destination for competitive exam preparations.

But the IIT Council that is responsible for all Indian Institutes of Technology dismissed the speculation.

“There are almost 1.3 million students who sit for this exam; so the dip is not significant at all,” said Ashok Misra, chairman of the standing committee of the IIT Council. “Also, we have local colleges and students might be opting for that. All the same, it is good if more students are opting for humanities.”

The JEE has been conducted in two stages — Main and Advanced — since 2012. The JEE (Main) is the qualifying exam for admissions to centrally-funded technical institutions such as National Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Information Technology and institutions in the participating states.

Of those taking JEE (Main), the top 150,000 to 200,000 are short-listed for the JEE (Advanced) for admissions in IITs. Till 2012, the All India Engineering Entrance Examination and IIT-JEE were conducted as separate exams. The new system for admissions in engineering courses came in place in 2013. (Courtesy : The Hindustan Times)

One agency for all higher edu exams
By Our Correspondent
: The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has set up a task force to prepare a blueprint for a national agency to conduct various entrance examinations and recruitment tests in the country.

The eight-member task force will be headed by former IIT-Kanpur director Sanjay Dhandhe.

The Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education, and one representative each from the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Institute of Technical Education (AICTE) will be among the members of the panel, among others.

The proposal to set up a National Testing Agency (NTA) is yet another ambitious move by the Centre to push its “one nation, one test” agenda to relieve students from the burden of facing multiple entrance tests, even as MHRD assures that the new system will not be imposed on any institution.

According to the MHRD proposal, NTA's basic mandate will be to conduct efficient, transparent tests of international standards in order to assess the competency of candidates for admission to colleges and professional institutes of higher learning, including engineering, medicine and management.

The proposal also seeks to hold nationwide tests for the purpose of recruitment in various government departments and granting scholarships in future.

“The task force set up to prepare the blueprint will suggest ways and means of setting up such an internationally-benchmarked testing and assessment agency. It will also suggest parameters to standardise all the major tests, including the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), conducted in the country,” a HRD Ministry official said on July 12.

The idea of setting up a National Testing Agency has been under the consideration of the ministry for several years. When Kapil Sibal was the HRD minister, he had wanted to set up the NTA by an Act of Parliament to make it a statutory body.

The ministry, however, later dropped the idea of setting up such a body in view of its experiences with its various key legislations, which have been pending for passage in Parliament for a long time.

The ministry now plans to set up the proposed agency by an executive order. The proposal to set up NTA got approval of the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE) in its last meeting.


NEET for PG courses from Dec. 5, NBE to hold test

By Our News Desk
National Board of Examinations (NBE) will conduct the first National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MD/MS/PG Diploma Courses from December 5 to 13.

NEET for entrance to MDS, postgraduate dental course, will also be conducted by the NBE from November 30 to December 3.

According to an announcement by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, AIIMS, PGIMER Chandigarh, JIPMER Puducherry, NIMHANS and SRICHITRA institutes will be exempted from NEET PG this year and they will hold their own test for PG-2017 admissions.

The ministry said that the NEET for admissions to MD and MS courses will be held at 86 test centres in 41 cities and will be a computer-based test comprising 300 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) from MBBS curriculum prescribed by the Graduate Medical Education Regulation of the Medical Council of India.

NEET for PG dental course admissions will also be held at 86 centres and will consist of 240 MCQs based on dental course curriculum of the Dental Council of India.

NEET-PG will be the first-ever single window entrance examination for entry to MD/MS/Post Diploma courses.

The ministry clarified that no other examination at state level or institutional level entrance examination conducted by medical colleges/institutions shall be valid as per the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, from 2017 admission session.

The website for NEET-PG will be on from September 24 and online registration for the NEET-PG will start from 7 am on September 26 and would continue till October 31 at 11.59 pm.

The entire procedure for registration and application for the examination is online. Aspirants can call toll-free number 1800 11 1700 from September 26 for queries or see the website www.nbe.edu.in

The NBE had conducted NEET-PG for MD/MS/PG Diploma admissions in 2013 and All India Post Graduate Medical Entrance Examination (AIPGMEE) during the period 2014-2016.

The NBE is an autonomous organization established by Government of India in 1982 to organise post graduate examinations on all India basis. NBE also conducted the NEET-PG for MD/MS/PG Diploma admissions in 2013 and All India Post Graduate Medical Entrance Examination (AIPGMEE) during the period 2014–2016.

Scope of Examination:
NEET-PG 2017 shall be a single eligibility cum entrance examination namely ‘National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to Postgraduate Medical Courses’ for the academic session 2017 which will include the following:

i. All India 50% quota seats for MD/MS/PG Diploma courses (all states except Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Telangana)

ii. State quota seats for MD/MS/PG Diploma courses for all States/Union territories of India (including the states of Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Telangana)

iii. MD/MS/PG Diploma courses at all Private Medical Colleges, Institutions & Universities/Deemed Universities all across the country

iv. MD/MS/PG Diploma courses at Armed Forces Medical Services Institutions.

v. DNB Broad specialty courses (January 2017 Admission Session)

SC damns govt for NEET order but refuses to stay
By Sanjiv Dube
On July 14 the three judge Supreme Court bench hearing the
National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) case criticised the NEET ordinance calling it "disturbing, unwarranted and not proper" but refused to stay it in the interest of the students.

The bench, comprising Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, Justice A R Dave and Justice Adarsh K Goel said that staying the ordinance at this stage would trigger chaos as lakhs of students across 17 States have already written exams in their respective States.

The ordinance, called the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 issued by the government on May 24, 2016 allowed States to conduct their own common entrance exams for admission to MBBS and BDS seats in government colleges despite the Supreme Court order on May 9, 2016 that only NEET would prevail.

"Prime facie, we found that the validity of the ordinance is in doubt. Since 50% of the states (17) had already held their examinations, we do not grant any relief," the bench said.

The court said it favoured a single common entrance test for all medical colleges in order to bring uniformity in the examination in the interest of students and for maintaining a minimum standard.

In a strong comment on medical colleges admitting students after taking money, Justice Dave said, "What to talk about the middle class. It is even impossible for upper middle class candidates to get admission in medical colleges. Think of it..if you and I have to be treated by a doctor who paid Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore for admission."

NGO Sankalp Charitable Trust and Anand Rai, who claimed to be Madhya Pradesh's Vyapam scam whistleblower, sought a stay on the May 24 ordinance that allowed states to conduct their own exams for academic session 2016-17.

Opposing the prayer Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the NEET was mooted in the Medical Council of India regulations as part of the subordinate legislation and the government had power to regulate it. Countering petitioner's plea, he said it would affect lakhs of students, if the ordinance was stayed.

May 9 order was passed despite objections from several States and private medical colleges that they have their own exams and many are underway or about to begin. The court simply had asked then to fall in line.

Expressing its displeasure the bench said : “Your move to bring this ordinance despite our order was not proper. It was unwarranted. It should not have happened. When the court said ‘no’ to State exams, you disregard us and issued an ordinance for State exams... Did you not think about the confusion it would cause to the children? After all these are our children,” Justice Dave told Attorney-General.

Mr. Rohatgi said that the ordinance was not meant as an affront to the Supreme Court’s authority. He said the ordinance merely opened an “option” for States to either opt for NEET or conduct their exams exclusively for State seats for the current academic year.

NEET is back, SC bench scraps earlier judgement

By Rajiv Shukla
In a landmark move the Supreme Court of India on April 11 recalled its one of the most controversial judgements -- NEET case judgement -- and ordered that "the case be heard afresh".

The case, called National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) case was delivered on July 18, 2013 by the Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir a dayAltamash Kabir before he was to retire, giving ample relief to private medical colleges. Some  private medical colleges had challenged the Medical Council of India and Dental Council of India regulations on admissions to medical and dental college -- and the relief allowed them to have their way in the matter of admissions.

With the recall of the judgement status quo ante has been restored and the MCI has been told to organise a combined all-India admission test for private and government medical colleges.

However, the MCI vice-chairman Dr C V Bhirmanandham has expressed his inability to hold the all-India test this year because of paucity of time and this may allow the private players to have their way this year as well.

Hearing the review petitions on April 11 the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice A R Dave and comprising Justices A K Sikri, R K Agrawal, A K Goel and R Banumathi recalled the judgment dated July 18, 2013 which had quashed NEET. It said the “majority verdict“ delivered by then Chief Justice Altamas Kabir did not consider an earlier SC judgment that was binding on the bench, nor had he consulted other members of his bench.

Incidentally Justice A R Dave, who headed the 5-judge Constitution bench that recalled the earlier order had given a dissenting verdict in the NEET case. In his April 11 order he specified that he was not consulted by the then CJI Altamas Kabir.

The April 11 order comes just a month before separate entrance tests are to be held for government and private medical colleges, putting lakhs of students in confusion. There are over 400 medical colleges in the country and lakhs of students sit for admission tests for over 52,000 MBBS seats. Since 2013, state governments and private colleges have conducted separate examinations for these.

Monday's order leaves Medical Council of India with the onerous task of conducting the NEET at a short notice as students have already filled in forms for several entrance tests.

Immediately after judgment reviving the NEET was pronounced in open court, stunned lawyers appearing for private colleges, pleaded that the SC clarify the consequences. The bench replied that “natural consequence“ was that NEET comes into force. It said the court would give a fresh hearing on constitutional validity of NEET but in the meantime, the exam will be restored. The lawyers then pleaded that the MCI's notification to bring NEET back be stayed till its validity was decided afresh and said that in 2013, too, an interim stay was given. The bench, however, rejected the plea saying the interim order was only for one academic session and it could not continue.

“After giving our thoughtful and due consideration, we are of the view that the judgment delivered in Christian Medical College needs reconsideration,“ the bench said.

Recalling earlier order the Constitution bench allowed review petitions by the Union government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) against the July 18, 2013, verdict and restored the NEET 2011 notification.

“The NEET regulations are restored and MCI can conduct the examinations pending the fresh judgement,” the order said.

According to the 2011 notification, the CBSE was to conduct the tests for admission to MBBS and BDS courses and the National Board of Examination for the PG programmes.

The 2013 verdict

The 2013 verdict had created a buzz in the apex court corridors as an advocate had posted the outcome on a social networking site in advance. However, Justice Kabir had reportedly said he was not aware of the leak of the judgment.

While Justice Vikramjit Sen (since retired) had shared the views and findings of Justice Kabir against the NEET, Justice Dave had in his dissenting verdict said that the three judges "had no discussion on the subject due to paucity of time". Justice Dave had stressed that this was not the normal practice.

Justice Dave had written in 2013 that “one of the main considerations of having one common entrance test conducted by the Medical Council of India is to check the malaise of money-making business in the admission process by selling their seats for crores, which has been going on for the last so many years in private colleges.”

The Christian Medical College, Vellore; the States of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; several associations of private medical colleges; DD Medical College and DD Hospital, Tamil Nadu; and various private medical colleges had filed petitions in High Courts and obtained an interim stay on the applicability of the NEET on them. On the MCI’s petitions, these cases were transferred to the Supreme Court.

Misra panel suggests key changes in JEE main

By Our Correspondent
An expert committee of the Union HRD Ministry has suggested an online aptitude test, held more than once a year, by a National Testing Service (NTS), instead of the current JEE Main conducted by the CBSE, a ministry announcement said on November 7.Prof Ashok Misra

Those who qualify the NTS aptitude test will be eligible to write the JEE. Admission to both IITs and NITs will be based on the results in the JEE, the ministry said.

The changes, according to the ministry, will come into effect only from 2017 or 2018 and till then the existing system will continue, allowing 40 per cent weightage for 12th marks. However, instead of 1.5 lakh students, now two lakh will qualify from JEE Main for JEE Advanced.

"The government has decided to place the recommendations of the report in the public domain for widespread consultation with the stakeholders. Since this process would take some time, it was decided that the JEE 2016 shall be conducted in the same manner as in 2015," it said.

The ministry had appointed a committee led by IIT Roorkee chairman Prof. Ashok Misra to suggest changes to the IITs and NIT admission system. It submitted its report to the MHRD on November 5 suggesting setting up of NTS by early 2016 to conduct an Aptitude Test on the lines of SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) conducted in the US.

"The aptitude test may be offered two or more times in a year and would be an online test. The testing shall test the scientific thinking and cannot be gamed through coaching. Based on this performance, about 4 lakh candidates shall be shortlisted for taking the JEE," the panel suggested. "The JEE itself will be on the lines of the current JEE (Advanced) ," it added.

The recommendations:

1. Major changes in the structure of JEE be effected from 2017 onwards:

• A National Testing Service shall be set up by early 2016, mandated to conduct an Aptitude Test, which should test the scientific aptitude and innovative thinking ability. The Aptitude test may be offered 2 or more times in a year and would be an online test. The testing shall test the scientific thinking and cannot be gamed through coaching.

• Based on this performance, about 4 lakh candidates shall be short-listed for taking the JEE.

• The JEE itself will be on the lines of the current JEE (Advanced) and designed to test the knowledge in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; and will be conducted by the IITs.

• From this, ranks will be issued to 40,000+ students who can seek admission in IITs and NITs based on a common counselling.

• The IITs be requested to set up a system for developing mock JEE examinations which will help students prepare for the JEE significantly and wean them away from the coaching industry. The possibility of using the MOOCS platform can also be explored.

• MHRD may take measures for the improvement of school education and the method of examination of the Boards, so that students with the Science aptitude are well prepared in the concepts by the time they reach 12th grade, without dependence on coaching institutions.

2. Till such time, that is for 2016 and 2017, the practice of two tier JEE examination shall be continued.

• The top 200,000 students from JEE (Main) shall be allowed to appear in JEE (Advanced).

• More than 40,000 ranks will be issued in JEE (Advanced) for developing a better system for selection of candidates.

• Joint counselling for IITs and NITs shall be continued as was done last year.

3. Board marks shall not to be counted for giving rankings this year for NITs, CFTIs etc.

The Government has decided to place the recommendations of the Report in the public domain for widespread consultation with the stakeholders.

Since this process would take some time, it was decided that the JEE 2016 shall be conducted in the same manner as 2015, with an enhanced intake from 1.5 lakh to two lakh into the JEE (Advanced) stage. The weightage given to Board marks in JEE (Main) would continue for the year 2016.


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