With over month-long delay in official announcement for NEET 2017 now, MBBS and BDS aspirants may have to brace for an entirely different application timeline this year. Besides 15 per cent quota seats in government colleges, the national-level exam will also be the gateway for admission to MBBS/BDS programmes across government colleges, private institutions and deemed universities for the academic year 2017.
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Though, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which conducts NEET said that it will be ‘coming up with the notification soon’, as on January 24, the application process has already been delayed by over 40 days, considering that for 2016 the application form was released on December 15.
In fact, in the last few years the notification would be out by the end of December. The application would continue for 45 days and exam would be conducted in the first or second week of May. The scenario for 2017 admission year, however, appears to be leading to a different timeline for the entire admission process.
NEET 2017: Timeline for NEET admission over the years
December 1, 2014
December 15, 2015
Awaited as on January 24, 2017
May 3, 2015
May 7 (Phase I)
July 24 (Phase II)
Awaited as on January 24, 2017
June 5, 2015
August 17, 2016
Awaited as on January 24, 2017
The delay in the NEET notification process has also raised speculations that CBSE is mulling changes in the different aspects of exam process for NEET 2017. What further aids the confusion among aspirants is that the union health ministry has recommended CBSE to lift the age bar limit. The final decision in the matter, however, still lies with Medical Council of India (MCI)/ Dental Council of India (DCI).
Here, we take you through possible reasons behind the delay in the release of NEET 2017 admission brochure and whether it could have any impact on the admission process.
CBSE to introduce new NEET syllabus?
Last year, when NEET was implemented in the eleventh hour, many states had raised a concern that candidates from CBSE board will have an edge over those who are from state boards. Further, many students aspiring for state medical colleges, also felt that they were not prepared to participate in a national level exam carrying question based on CBSE board pattern. However, majority of the questions in NEET 2016, were from NCERT and the paper turned out to be on the easier side, thus quelling fears of many students from different states.
After many states raised concern last year on feasibility of the question paper pattern for their state board students, union government had introduced an ordinance allowing states to conduct their own exam if they wished so.
But this year, NEET will be the only exam for admission to government colleges, private colleges and deemed universities. Therefore, it is expected that CBSE might be doing comprehensive consultations to bring some changes to the NEET syllabus so that subject areas from different state boards are accommodated in the question paper.
Are changes expected in age criteria and number of attempts?
On January 13, 2017, the union health ministry had approved a recommendation letter of CBSE, which asked to remove the upper age limit in NEET along with providing for unlimited attempts. However, the final decision on the same has yet to be taken by either the Medical Council of India or Dental Council of India. Further, according to the letter, foreign nationals, Overseas citizens of India (OCI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) as well as Non-Resident Indians (NRI) are also allowed to participate in 15% all India quota counselling. Earlier, 15% all India quota seats were only reserved for Indian Nationals. Therefore, this means, students can look forward to some changes in the eligibility criteria of NEET 2017 as well.
Is NEET paper expected in more regional languages?
On December 9, 2016, the central government announced that NEET 2017 will be held in additional six languages-Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu, apart from Hindi and English. After the Centre’s decision, Odisha and Karnataka too demanded inclusion of Odia and Kannada, citing that majority of the students in these states took 12th board exams in their respective regional languages. Further, the Maharashtra government has also urged Centre to include Urdu as one of the vernacular language in NEET. However, while the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, JP Nadda has assured that Kannada would be included in the list, there is no official notification on this released either by the centre or CBSE. A final decision on this might also delaying the NEET announcement.
How will delayed announcement impact admission process?
In 2016, NEET was re-introduced after AIPMT was already conducted. The AIPMT was later termed NEET Phase 1 and the NEET, which was termed NEET phase II, was conducted on July 24, after over two months of the phase I. The results for both the phases were declared on August 17 and counselling sessions lasted till September 20. Therefore, the academic session could start from October 1, as mandated by the Supreme Court.
Thus, by delaying the application itself by over 40 days now, CBSE might have to shorten the application window to comply with the SC deadline for beginning of the academic session by October 1st.
What CBSE says?
Since, the website of NEET has still not carried any official notification on the application form for 2017 admissions,Careers360 contacted CBSE officials to understand the reason behind the delay. However, the officials without giving any specific reason said that the ‘NEET notification will be released soon.’
For now, the official website just carries a banner for NEET(UG) 2017, without any additional information on the same.
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