AP wants medical entrance test paper in Telugu too

The state government has asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) to set the question paper for National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) in Telugu, apart from English and Hindi. D L Ravindra Reddy, minister for health on Thursday announced that while the state government has in principle agreed to participate in NEET from 2012, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has to clear the file for the same. About 40,000 students from Telugu medium appear for Eamcet (Medical) every year.

On Thursday, managements of junior colleges and students across the city demanded the state government not to agree to participate in the all-India medical entrance test at least from the coming year. The colleges said that it is not the just the language of the question paper that would create a problem for students. “Intermediate syllabus of the state is quite different from the CBSE syllabus which will form the base for the national level test. The students from the state would get just about three months to prepare for the test. The government should re-examine its decision as it seems to be taken in haste,” said P Madhusudan Reddy, general secretary, AP Government Intermediate College Lecturers’ Association.

Private colleges said that the government should have asked for an extension from MCI before it decided to participate in the test. “The state should have agreed to participate in the test from 2013 or 2014,” said a senior professor of Narayana Junior College. They explained that the CBSE syllabus has several portions that conflict with what is being taught in intermediate classrooms. In fact, the students will also have to learn new portions in Biology (Zoology and Botany), lecturers said, adding that they had petitioned the MCI demanding that NEET should be conducted from 2013 instead of 2012.

JNTU authorities, who have been conducting the Eamcet medical stream test, however, said that NEET would reduce the stress levels of students. “The students will not have to prepare for different tests all at the same time. On an average, students from the state write at least four medical entrance tests every year. Neet would allow students to write just one entrance test but the state should participate in it when the student community is ready to do so. Right now there are many concerns like the number of test centres in which the test will be held. Eamcet is conducted in every nook and corner of the state for the benefit of students from remote areas. But MCI might restrict the test to a few test centres for smooth management,” said M V Ramana Rao, faculty JNTU and former Eamcet convener.

Students are worried that their preparation, which is focused on Eamcet, will not be enough to get through the national level test. “Most students from AP aim at getting a seat in medical colleges within the state and bank mostly on Eamcet. Since the MCI has not specified the syllabus for NEET so far, we are worried that students who have been writing the national level entrance tests will score more than those of us who have studied for two years for Eamcet,” said S Anuradha, a second year student. Officials of Sri Chaitanya Group of colleges, who held a press meet in the city on Thursday, said that they will oppose the government’s unilateral decision on the matter. “We oppose the move, since parents, teachers and students were not consulted before announcing this decision,” they said.
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