Clash of examinations

Students taking Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) can’t appear for  pre-medical entrance test of  Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) Pune this year as both the tests are scheduled to be held on May 6.

OJEE authorities said it is difficult to find a date that does not clash with other  entrance dates, leaving medical aspirants resentful of being deprived of a major opportunity. The AFMC Pune has 130 MBBS seats, including 25 for girls. It is a sought after test for students across the country, attracting thousands of aspirants from Odisha.

“OJEE authorities should have avoided the May 6 date so that students from Odisha too can appear for the AFMC. Though the AFMC is a tough competition, it’s a dream test for most medical aspirants,” said Subashis Das, a student from Kendrapada, who has been taking coaching for the pre-medical entrance test from an institute in Bhubaneswar.

Sudhansu Meher, another aspirant from Atabira in Bargarh district, also receiving coaching in the city, said important entrance tests should not clash. Various authorities should coordinate among them to facilitate students to take all the tests, he said.

Last year, AFMC Pune test date had clashed with AIEEE offline test, both of which were held on May 1.

OJEE vice-chairman Dr Sitaram Mahapatra said selecting a date by accommodating all other tests is impossible. “There are only four Sundays in May. Any date we pick will coincide with one or the other entrance dates. We have to conduct the test in May,” he said. OJEE authorities keep in mind that its date should not coincide with other major national level tests such as All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), All India Pre Medical Entrance Test (AIPMT) and IIT-JEE, Mahapatra added, however.

The May 6 date for OJEE was fixed keeping in mind the proposed National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, the overarching pre-medical test for all state medical colleges, which was tentatively fixed for May 13. NEET would have taken out medical out of OJEE. Though the Union government decided not to introduce NEET from this year, the OJEE decided to stick to its May 6 date.

About 85,000 students appeared for OJEE, for admission into medical, engineering, MBA, MCA and pharmacy courses, in 2011. Last year, the OJEE date had clashed with West Bengal JEE. The private engineering college association had expressed its reservation about the date because a substantial number of students from West Bengal had previously appeared for OJEE. This year, the WBJEE will be held on April 15.

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