While the Centre’s decision to conduct the JEE (Main) and NEET twice a year is a welcome move for city students, they might now have to juggle the first attempt with their class XII board examination around the same time.
The central government on Saturday announced that from 2019, students will be able to sit for JEE (Main) and NEET twice a year. Engineering aspirants can appear for Joint Entrance Examination (Main) in January and the April and medical aspirants for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in February and May for the academic sessions starting in August that year.
The class XII examinations for students of the Maharashtra State Board begin in the first week of February with practicals and the theory papers from the third week. “It is great that students will get two attempts to crack the competitive examinations but it will mean they will further ignore the HSC exams. We increasingly see students who prepare only for the competitive exams and don’t crack it and are also left with a poor HSC score,” said a college principal. A junior college vice principal said finding days for the examinations which do not clash with state boards across the country will be key to the implementation.
Some others feel more students could be willing to try the exam. Sachin Karnavat, president, Maharashtra Class Owners Association (MCOA), said, “The ideal time for the second attempt would have been in March or April, a few days after the board exams are over. However, two attempts would mean more students would be willing to appear for the exam. If the scores in the first attempt are not good enough, they have a second chance. If that doesn’t work too, the student can look at a different course without losing a year.”
This year, 1.8 lakh students from the state registered for NEET and 1.63 lakh for JEE (Main). Every year, several students who do not find a seat in their desired institute join a bachelor's course and try again the next year. Degree colleges see a number of dropouts after the first year.
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