Aspirants to undergraduate medical courses in the city are grappling with a ‘date’ problem.

Six medical colleges in the country are conducting their entrance exams on the same day leaving the students with fewer choices.

Entrance examination to the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer), Puducherry, is being held on June 2, the same day as the tests by Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre, Pune, and Sri Siddhartha Medical College in Tumkur, Karnataka. 

The entrance exams are mostly held on Sundays forcing the students to make a difficult choice. G. Padmashree, a class XII student who had applied for the entrance exam to Sri Ramachandra University, said she passed up the University exam for Jipmer. Her friend Aishwarya said she sent a mail to the University requesting that she be permitted to appear for the exam on another date. The university did not reply, however, she said.

D. Subramanian, an anguished parent, said: “How can a student write six tests on a single day? When a student can undertake only one test a day, is it not depriving and disappointing to have the clash of dates? Can’t the authorities re-organise the dates to give opportunities to all those who wish to apply to various institutions?” 

A source in a city-based private college said every year the students had to contend with the problem. It is not just medical aspirants but those applying to paramedical courses too face the same problem, he said. “The colleges/universities plan at least five months in advance and the exams are held in various cities. And the clash of exam dates is inevitable,” he said.

According to an official in the college, every day, they receive at least a dozen calls from candidates about the exam dates but there is little the college authorities can do.

Mr. Subramanian suggested the Medical Council of India or the Centre have a role in fixing the dates of common entrance tests at the all-India level.

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