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Students can do nursing based on XII marks or aptitude score: Bombay HC

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MUMBAI: Joining a nursing programme no longer requires aspirants to take the NEET. The Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court on Thursday ruled that candidates should be admitted to the BSc ( nursing) programme based on score in a state or university-conducted aptitude test or class XII marks in physics, chemistry and biology.

This year, as there was no CET conducted for nursing aspirants in Maharashtra , all those who cleared class XII with physics, chemistry, biology and passed in English in the same exam, can sign up for theBSc (nursing) course.

The court decision has come after one round of admission. Members of Indian Nursing, a platform of nurses and nursing students, have urged the CET cell to re-open admissions. They said they will counsel candida tes on Sunday on how to apply for the BSc degree programme.

“This NEET criteria was unfair to aspirants in Maharashtra. The court's decision to q uash the CET cell’s order of making NEET the qualifying score for nursing education is a welcome move,” said Dr Balasaheb Pawar, president of the Private Nursing School and College Management Association.

Since 2012, candidates keen to sign up for BSc (nursing) have been expected to take the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG). But this year, the Indian Nursing Council (INC) in April said states could conduct a 100mark aptitude test or admit candidates who are in the 50 percentile and above bracket in the NEET exam, in line with MBBS and BDS norms.

Following that, the state’s CET cell in a circular d ated June 16 asked colleges of Maharashtra to admit students based on the NEET criteria with the qualifying score set by the INC. The association of private nursing colleges challenged the INC cir cular andthe CET directive. “The court ruled that the INC circular did not have approval of the health ministry nor was the rule cleared by Parliament,” added Pawar.

The first round of admission has been conducted by the CET cell but merely 1,200 candidates had applied for 6,030 seats. “The 50% qualifying criteria in NEET was a very high bar for candidates. Most states and deemed universities opted to take the 100-mark test and admit students to the nursing degree programme,” said Pratiksha, secretary of Indian Nursing. Since the past few years, almost 30% of nu rsing seats in Maharashtra have been lying unfilled.

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