PUNE: The all-India entrance test for admissions to the prestigious Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune, will be a thing of the past from the academic year 2013-14.
“We are now merging with the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for undergraduate courses (NEET-UG), which has been finalized by the Medical Council of India and will be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education from 2013 onwards,” Lt Gen H L Kakria, Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services, told reporters here on Wednesday.
The AFMC’s under-graduate wing is celebrating its golden jubilee this year. The college provides training to under-graduate (UG) and post-graduate medical and nursing students, with an assured career in defence service. It is widely acknowledged as a centre of excellence for medical education and research.
The graduate wing of the AFMC was established on August 4, 1962 to provide a sustainable and steady intake of medical officers for the Indian Armed Forces. The institute is affiliated to the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences and conducts the UG course from August every year.
Kakria said, “Medical course aspirants applying for the NEET-UG will have to mention their choice for the AFMC when they submit their application forms.”
Only those who mention ‘for AFMC’ will be interviewed by the AFMC selection panel following the NEET-UG results, he said. The college has certain criteria relating to physical fitness and psychological approach, among others.
Merely clearing the NEET-UG won’t guarantee a seat at the AFMC unless the candidate clears the relevant evaluation criteria set by the college, Kakria said.
It may be noted that the MCI had initially proposed to introduce the NEET-UG from 2012-13 onwards with a view to cut down the multiple entrance tests being held across the country for admission to medical colleges.
However, the MCI move drew opposition from several states including Maharashtra on the grounds that Std XII students needed some time to adjust to the course finalised for the all-India entrance test.
Besides, the question prevailed as to whether premier institutions like the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and the AFMC would join the NEET exams for UG and post-graduate courses. “All issues relating to the NEET have since been solved and finalised,” Kakria said.
Director generals for medical services Air Marshal D P Joshi (Air Force); Lt Gen G Ramdas (Army) and Vice Admiral K M Suryanarayana (Navy), AFMC Commandant Air Marshal G S Joneja and deputy commandant Maj Gen M Luthara were present.