NEET 2018 Exam Date - The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be held, as expected, on Sunday, May 6, 2018. This is as per an official notification released on January 30, 2018, by the Government of Maharashtra. “The Central Board of Secondary Education will conduct National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test, UG for admissions to first year MBBS/BDS across the Country except for AIIMS & JIPMER, Puducherry”, the notification declares. Released with regard to the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test (CET) for 2018, the notification is nevertheless the first official document released by any Government authority with regard to the NEET 2018 exam date.
NEET 2018 date ‘officially’ confirmed
NEET candidates have been anxiously waiting for the Central Board of Secondary Notification (CBSE) to release any official information which will put to rest the various rumours floating around the national level medical undergraduate exam. One of these concerned the NEET exam date, which many news websites and media houses had earlier reported would be Thursday, May 10, 2018. This led to confusion among many aspirants, since it wasn’t in line with the CBSE’s unofficial policy to hold the exam on the first Sunday of May ever year. It was eventually clarified that the exam would be held ‘by’ May 10 and not ‘on’ that date, keeping with the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) directions.
A few days after this episode, media reports began to confirm that the exam would be held on Sunday, May 6, 2018, as expected. While the source of this news came from an official CBSE notification purportedly issued on January 11, 2018, it must be noted that the notification was not publicly released and seems to have been meant for internal communication. Infact, neither the CBSE nor any other Government body released any notification confirming the exam date.
The Maharashtra CET notification is therefore the first official indication that the exam date of NEET 2018 has been finally confirmed. Interestingly, the Maharashtra Notification, which can be seen by candidates on this page, says that the exam date has been intimated through letter No. F.1(4)/CBSE/NEET-2018/2017/8277 received from the CBSE. This is the same letter that media outlets had also displayed earlier. This determines that the CBSE has already communicated information about the NEET exam date to the states. In the absence of any other confirmation from the NEET exam conducting body’s side directly to candidates themselves, the Maharashtra notification should ease all doubts about the exam date, as it now stands confirmed that NEET 2018 will be held on May 6, 2018.
To read the notification released by the State Common Entrance Test Cell, Maharashtra, regarding the NEET 2018 exam date, see below:
The absence of any official confirmation from the CBSE regarding important changes made in the context of NEET 2018 has left candidates with no recourse but to refer to the various notifications released periodically by State Governments. Similar to how the NEET exam date has been confirmed by the Government of Maharashtra’s notification, the inclusion of AYUSH admissions through NEET was confirmed via a notification released by the Government of Karnataka in regard with their Common Entrance Test on January 27. The same has also now been corroborated by the Government of Maharashtra’s notification. As stated in both the Maharashtra and Karnataka NEET 2018 notifications, apart from MBBS and BDS, admissions to BAMS, BHMS, BNYS, BSMS, and BUMS courses will be done through NEET. Apart from this, Maharashtra will also take admissions to BPTh, BOTh, BP&O, BASLP as well as BSc Nursing through NEET 2018 scores only. Whether all medical and paramedical admissions will be carried out through NEET across all states from 2018 onwards remains to be seen. But it can be confirmed that despite the lack of official notifications from the CBSE, admissions to all Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy courses across all states will certainly be through NEET from this year onwards.
Concerns around upper age limit and open school eligibility
Anxieties around the NEET 2018 eligibility criteria have gripped aspirants ever since it was reported that the MCI would be barring NIOS students from applying. There were also rumours that the upper age limit criteria would be reintroduced this year onwards. A lack of communication from the CBSE’s side has only managed to heighten these fears. As confirmed by a Gazette of India notification released on January 23, 2018, the MCI has amended the NEET eligibility criteria to decree that candidates who have completed their schooling from the NIOS Board will no longer be eligible to apply for NEET. Also, Unreserved candidates above the age of 25 years and Reserved Category candidates above the age of 30 years will also be ineligible to apply. If the Gazette notification information is true, then thousands of candidates who have been preparing for NEET over the past many months will be unable to pursue their dream of a career in the medical profession. While this will only be finally confirmed once the CBSE issues the NEET 2018 notification, it looks like the laxity on part of the Board’s side in releasing the NEET 2018 notification will continue to be a cause of stress for candidates until then.