Pune Leads in Sending MBBS Students to Maharashtra’s Medical Colleges, Followed by Mumbai

In a significant trend observed this year, Pune has emerged as the top contributor of MBBS aspirants to both government and private medical colleges in Maharashtra. According to data from the state’s CET cell, Pune claims the first position, closely followed by Mumbai, while Latur secures a commendable third place in sending students to pursue MBBS studies in the state.

The data reveals that among the 7,210 MBBS aspirants who were allocated seats through the state counseling process, over 10%, which translates to 739 students, hail from Pune. Meanwhile, Mumbai and Latur take the second and third spots, albeit at a significant distance, with 608 and 580 students, respectively. Thane and Ahmednagar come next in line, with 448 and 438 students, based on the districts where these students completed their HSC board exams.

Experts in admission and medical education counseling point out that Pune and Mumbai traditionally have the highest number of students receiving coaching for medical entrance exams. On the other hand, Latur, often referred to as the ‘Kota of Maharashtra’ due to its coaching hub, consistently produces a significant number of students who secure MBBS seats after excelling in the highly competitive NEET-UG exam.

Conversely, regions like Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, and Palghar find themselves at the lower end of the selection list, reflecting the unequal distribution of medical aspirants across the state.

This year, more than 20 lakh students registered for the NEET-UG examination across India, competing for roughly 1.1 lakh available seats nationwide. Maharashtra alone witnessed an astonishing 2.7 lakh NEET aspirants, the highest in the country.

Sachin Bangad, an NEET counselor from Latur, sheds light on the phenomenon by explaining that students often opt for “nominal admissions” in their home districts but gravitate towards Latur for NEET preparation. The Latur coaching hub has a remarkable track record, sending around 40 to 50 students to prestigious institutions like AIIMS every year. Bangad notes that many colleges in Latur and nearby districts facilitate nominal admissions, attracting students from various parts of the state.

Dr. Pravin Shingare, the former director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), offers historical context by mentioning that before 2021, Mumbai, Thane, and Pune consistently led in medical admissions due to their access to coaching institutions. Other cities like Latur, Nagpur, Solapur, and Aurangabad followed in the second tier. However, the scenario changed with the introduction of the ‘One Maharashtra, one Merit’ policy, which did away with the previous regional reservations. This policy aimed to provide equal opportunities to students across the state, eliminating the need for migration solely for the purpose of securing seats.

Sudha Shenoy, a representative of parents from Mumbai, acknowledges that the higher numbers in Pune and Mumbai could be attributed to their larger populations. Still, she emphasizes the exceptional success rate of the Latur coaching hub.

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