The fear of national level tests such as the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) has pushed the number of engineering and pharmacy aspirants appearing for the state Common Entrance Test (CET) to an all-time high. The number of students opting for the state-conducted Common Entrance Test (CET) has touched 3.89 lakh, show figures released by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) on April 10, after the final leg of extended time given to students to register online came to an end. Officials from the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) said this was the highest number of applications ever received by the state for both engineering and pharmacy courses. “JEE has negative marking and the syllabus is different, so it is possible that many students chose to appear for CET over the other national level entrance exams,” said Dayanand Meshram, joint director, DTE. He said the increase in the number of registrations also shows an increased interest in professional courses. “DTE had recently received more than 94,000 applications for just 32,000 seats in management institutes. This shows that the demand for professional stories is high,” he added. While registrations for MH-CET ended on March 30, the online process was re-opened and extended till April 10 after requests from several candidates who could not finish the registration process within the stipulated time. Close to 2,000 more registrations were made in this extended period and each student had to pay double the fee as a fine for the delay.