Govt changes tack, says yes to pro rata medical admissions
AHMEDABAD: In a sharp U-turn by the state government, minister of state for health Shankar Chaudhary on Thursday announced that the government has agreed in-principle to retain pro-rata distribution of undergraduate medical and dental admissions between students of various education boards. Admissions in medical, dental, homeopathy, ayurveda and naturopathy courses will be granted on NEET scores while paramedical admissions will be granted on basis of class XII board exam performance. Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GujCET) will not be conducted this year.
Till recently, the state government maintained that it would follow the Supreme Court mandate and admissions would be granted on the basis of NEET performance, irrespective of the board under which a student passed the class XII board exams.
Highly-placed sources said that announcement to accept the pro-rata distribution is a a populist decision taken ahead of elections as the Vijay Rupani government succumbed to pressure by groups of influential parents whose wards study in the state board.
"The state government had introduced NEET syllabus in schools to ensure that state board students are prepared for the national entrance test. However, since students got less time to prepare for NEET, the Rupani government decided to retain the pro-rata system in admissions to avoid injustice to state board students," a statement issued by the health minister said.
Experts said that the government sidestepping the SC mandate is incorrect. In fact, the admission committee for professional medical education courses said that it had recommended that the state government do away with pro-rata according to the SC guidelines and retain GujCET exam for paramedical admissions. "The government has reversed both recommendations," a member said.
Meanwhile, parents of students in the CBSE board said that government has not allowed a level playing field for all students in medical admissions. "We will challenge the state government retaining the pro-rata system in court as it had earlier said that the SC mandate will be followed," said NIkhil Patel, the parent of a CBSE student.
The state government said that admission rules regarding medical and paramedical courses will be framed soon.