NEW DELHI: A growing number of students are opting for medicine and law after class XII. Entrance test trends in the last five years show that for around 3,700 seats, the number of aspirants for All India Pre-Medical/Dental Test (AIPMT) rose from 2.07 lakh in 2011 to 6.3 lakh in 2015. Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), which is a centralised test for admission to prominent national law universities, has seen a consistent rise in the number of applicants from 23,875 to more than 39,000 in the corresponding period.

The same cannot be said about engineering though, which, despite having a larger number of seats, witnessed a fall in the number of aspirants. In 2015, there has been a 3.9% decrease in the number of students sitting for the Joint Entrance Exam (Main) (JEE) conducted by CBSE, with 12,92,711 aspirants as compared to 13,44,907 in 2014. Overall there has been a moderate increase of aspirants in the five-year period surveyed, up from 10,53,833 in 2011.

As per the 2015 figures, for every seat under AIPMT, there are over 170 candidates as against 32 candidates per engineering test under JEE, which is inclusive of the undergraduate seats in the Indian Institutes of Technology.

Another professional course which has seen continuous decrease in number of applicants for the last three years is chartered accountants. For the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) conducted in June this year, by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, 1,28,916 candidates appeared which is down from 1,39,226 in 2011.

Speaking to TOI, principal of DPS Ghaziabad, which is ranked 14th among top 20 CBSE schools in terms of best overall aggregate in class XII boards 2015, Jyoti Gupta said, “Earlier children used to have a second thought about medicine because of the number of years it takes to complete the course. However, in the last four to five years medicine as a profession has grown in popularity, primarily because there are lots of allied job opportunities coming up.”

K K Chaudhary, controller examinations of CBSE feels that the popularity graph has improved as medicine and law are also private practice-based professions. “Lawyers and doctors, unlike engineers, don’t have to wait for job openings.”

The postgraduate test for the IIMs also witnessed a fall. After recording a high of 2.76 lakh aspirants in 2008, the numbers have fallen to 2.18 in 2015. In 2014, it had significantly declined to 1.95 lakh.

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