PANAJI: This year, only 4,200 students have registered to answer the Goa Common Entrance Test (GCET), which will be held on May 8 and 9. This is the first year that the exam will be held only for entry to engineering and pharmacy undergraduate programmes. This has caused the number answering the GCET drop from the 5,500 that had taken the test last year.
“Students can register to answer GCET upto April 27, but with late fee,” an official said. “We are now getting around 10 applications every day. So the final figure of those answering GCET may go up only by around 50 or so more.”
GCET will be held only for physics, chemistry and mathematics in 2018, as aspirants for the homeopathy and ayurveda seats will also answer the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for entry to the programme. Though the directive that entry to homeopathy and ayurveda programmes will also be through NEET came from the central government in 2017, the state government had asked Goa students to appear for both NEET and GCET last year. This is because Goa government had sought an exemption from the rule for a year from the central government, and was awaiting a response at the time of the exams.
In 2018, the state will follow the central directive and students who want to join ayurveda and homeopathy degree programmes, along with medicine and dentistry programme aspirants, are answering NEET.
In addition, the state has decided that those who want to join nursing and allied health degree programme seats available in Goa should also answer NEET. Hence, the biology paper in GCET has been discontinued.
“Despite GCET no more being the entry criteria for so many of the programmes, the number of students that have registered for it has not dropped much since last year and is still at 4,200,” said the official from the directorate of technical education, which conducts GCET.
“This is because the engineering and pharmacy seats together form the largest chunk of professional seats available in Goa at 1,600.
In comparison, medicine seats stand at 100, dentistry at 40, etc.”