Saturday, October 30, 2010

MHRD, Health Ministry spar over common medical / engineering test

The Ministry of Health on Friday attempted to put a spanner in the proposal of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) through the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to hold a single examination for Class XII passouts for medical and engineering colleges at the all-India level by integrating AIPMT and AIEEE.

While All India Pre-Medical / Pre-Dental Entrance Examination (AIPMT) is conducted to fill 15% seats in MBBS/BDS courses in government medical and dental colleges against the all-India quota, the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) is for drawing up a combined merit list for different categories of engineering colleges. CBSE conducts both AIPMT and AIEEE every year.

Senior advocate Altaf Ahmed appeared to convince a bench comprising Justices R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik about the noble intentions behind the move, that is to relieve the students from appearing in multiple entrance examinations, but the health ministry's counsel, Aman Ahluwalia, attempted to shoot it down saying it would create confusion.

Ahluwalia said that there were several students who take mathematics and biology in addition to the common subjects of physics and chemistry entitling them to compete for both medical and engineering streams. Hence, there could be a situation where a student might figure in the merit lists for both medical and engineering and could take one of the seats in either of them waiting for a better option in another thus depriving other deserving candidates.

Ahmed listed out the benefits of amalgamation of AIPMT and AIEEE candidates will be less stressed as selection would be based on common test tools and they will be able to appear in medical as well as engineering entrance examination in one go; parents too will be less stressed and less financially burdened; emphasis would shift to classroom teaching than coaching. But, when Ahluwalia insisted a combined entrance examination could result in lateral overlapping in the merit lists, the bench wondered whether the objection was genuine.

Source: The Times of India, October 30, 2010
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