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Students and the medical field frequently face a deficit of the number of career paths that are available apart from the NEET exam and pursuing a degree in MBBS. Even though there are a few career paths available, the jobs after taking up those courses are not very lucrative. Given that last year the NEET examination had 17 lakh applicants and each year this number keeps growing manifold and the conducting body that is the national testing agency  provides only one attempt in a year to a NEET aspirant unlike the IIT aspirants who are getting 4 attempts in a year now.

There is a requirement of sorting out a plan B. Many of us do not want to drop the year or are already tired of attempting NEET for two to three times now. Previously B.Pharm and M.Pharma were taken to be good alternatives to an MBBS degree but over the years since very few students have qualified for NEET,  most of the remaining crowd has moved towards B.Pharm and M.Pharma and there is a  saturation in that field. At such times, the AIEEA examination which is conducted by the National Testing Agency just like the NEET examination comes as a good career alternative for those who take interest in the subject of Botany.

Why should one appear for this exam?

This examination is always  conducted on a date that is much closer to the NEET examination and does not require any preparation separately. It has a very lesser number of applicants as compared to NEET (roughly 2-3 lakh) and the difficulty level of the exam is also lesser. The exam provides courses of a BSc in agriculture, B tech in agriculture, BSc in biotechnology and B.Tech in biotechnology in the premium government institutions of India.

Institutions like NDRI, Karnal and ICAR, Delhi are affiliated under this examination. These institutions have been the pioneers of research for agriculture in India and have drastically improved agriculture in the field of genetic hybrid cropping for genetic hybrid species of cattle which produce more yield of milk and meat. To serve as an icing on the cake, the fees charged by these government institutions is very nominal in nature just like the government medical colleges.

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The paper is of 600 marks, has four subjects and a time period of 3 hours is provided to solve the paper. Students can choose between 5 subjects that are: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Botany and Zoology. The syllabus is exactly the same as NEET. Questions of Botany are a bit advanced in nature. Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are of a basic level. The difficulty of Zoology is the same as NEET.


When should one apply?

If one is motivated towards the field of research and understands that India has a huge population and that the farm produce of India is on a shortage as compared to the food demand by this population,  one must apply for this examination along with NEET. The field requires one to be motivated and have a goal of making a contribution to the field of Agricultural Research for India. It would be also important to point out that agriculture is not just the only field available.  After a degree in BSC or B.Tech in biotechnology one can also serve in firms that conduct research for Genetics or hybrid Technology to be used in the manufacture of new drugs and pharmaceuticals. A crucial requirement is that one must be interested in Botany and its allied sciences more than Zoology in order to survive in the course.


By: Debarati Pal

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