Students aspiring for MBBS seats will not take the EAMCET route but write the National Entrance and Eligibility Test by Medical Council of India (MCI) from next year.
The test will be conducted at the national level by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on behalf of MCI but the counselling and selection would be done by the State government, Director of Medical Education P. Sampath Kumar told The Hindu.
He said the MCI was keen to do the selection of candidates also after the test, but the State government retained the initiative for its own reasons. The decision to join the national test was taken in view of the insistence by MCI that there be uniform standards of testing for admissions instead of each State having its own question papers. Nevertheless, there would be both State and national rankings.
About 65,000 students appeared for medicine stream of EAMCET last year for 4,300 seats in 12 government and 20 private medical colleges in the State. An all-party meeting convened by the government a few months ago to discuss whether the State could join the national pool for allocation of seats did not find favour with the parties.
A.P. and Jammu & Kashmir are the only States which were exempted from joining the Central pool by a Presidential order. The State had to contribute 15 per cent of the seats to outsiders but its own students would have got an additional 1,500 seats at the national level if it had joined the scheme, Dr. Sampath Kumar said.
He added that the intake of MBBS seats was likely to go up by 1,000 next year with the addition of 50 seats each in government sector and opening of a few new private medical colleges.
The decision to join the national test was also hinted at by Health Minister D.L. Ravindra Reddy earlier in the day.
He parried a question by media persons when asked if a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the MCI directive to States to come under a single umbrella was a hindrance.