At least 20,000 more aspirants for medicine in CET counselling

If you are a medical seat aspirant seeking a government seat, be warned: you will be competing with at least 20,000 more candidates this year.

This was revealed by S.P. Kulkarni, administrative officer, Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), while speaking at The Hindu EducationPlus Career Counselling 2013 programme, which was held in Bangalore on Sunday.

The annual outreach programme of The Hindu’s weekly supplement was held simultaneously in five other cities too — Mangalore, Udupi, Tumkur, Bellary and Bijapur.

Addressing students during a session on the online counselling procedure of the Common Entrance Test (CET), Mr. Kulkarni said that compared to last year’s 85,000 candidates who applied purely for medical courses (without applying for engineering courses), this year, there were an extra 20,000 such applicants.

“Contrary to expectations, the craze for medical courses is only going up. For the 1.12 lakh aspirants for government medical seats, there are only 3,000 seats, along with the 40 per cent seats that we have in 26 unaided institutions,” he said. He also spoke about how out of the 6 lakh II pre-university students, 1.76 lakh were enrolled in science programmes, of whom 1.39 lakh had written the CET on May 1, 2 and 3.

A dominant trend in the engineering stream, Mr. Kulkarni said, was that the former favourite, computer science, had slipped to fourth place in terms of preference.

“In the last two years, there has been a shift in preference from computer science to other disciplines. Back in 2007–08, 70 per cent of the applicants used to be for computer science and information science. Now, electronics and mechanical branches are the most popular,” the officer said.

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