Putting to rest all speculations, Odisha has finally decided to join the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET 2013), the over-arching pre-medical entrance replacing state-level examinations. "We had some apprehensions. After the Centre agreed to address those, we have agreed to be part of NEET-2013 for undergraduate medical admissions this year. There will be no separate state-level entrance," health secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra told TOI on Wednesday.
Mohapatra had on September 24 expressed the state's apprehension that the test would mean medical seats in state-run colleges might go to students from outside the state. "We had raised certain issues with the health ministry. We are satisfied with the response," he said.
The government had sought clarifications about the fate of MBBS seats in case enough Odia students fail to qualify for it. The Centre has clarified that a percentile system will be worked out where states can prepare their own merit lists depending on number of state quota seats (85% of total seats) available there. A separate national merit list will be prepared for filling up 15% seats in all states, which are currently filled from the All India Pre-Medical Entrance Test (AIPMT).
"This would ensure that Odia students continue to occupy 85% seats in the state," Mohapatra said, adding the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) would do the counselling for these seats. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct NEET, which is scheduled for May 12, 2013.
Mohapatra said CBSE also agreed to include Koraput as a centre for NEET. Earlier it had chosen only Bhubaneswar and Rourkela as centres. The government had requested for centres in five cities, the other two are Sambalpur and Berhampur, the health secretary said.
For medical aspirants, there would be five facilitation centres to help in the application procedure at DAV Chandrasekhapur, Mother's Public School and Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV-I) in Bhubaneswar besides KV-I, Cuttack, and Delhi Public School, Rourkela. Online application procedure for NEET is likely to start from December 1. There would be 180 objective type questions in the three-hour examination.
Source: Times of India
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