NEET to be only entrance exam: SC
The Supreme Court clarified that the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test would be the only way for students to get admission to undergraduate medical and dental courses across the country. The court gave authorities a free hand to reschedule NEET-II, currently scheduled on July 24. The apex court's order strikes a death blow to states' entrance exams, some of which have already been conducted.
The demand to have a common entrance test (CET) which would eliminate separate common entrance tests conducted by colleges for medical students across India was first initiated in 2009 when MCI was directed by Dr Ketan Desai.
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET-UG was a qualifying entrance examination for medical students aspiring to study MBBS, BDS or postgraduate course (MD / MS) in a private or government medical college in India. The test was declared by the Government of India. It was to be held for the first time on 5 May 2013 for all medical colleges in India.
The decision of the MCI to introduce the NEET-UG exam in 2013 was severely opposed by states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Their contention was that there was a huge syllabus variations between the NEET and the state syllabi. Moreover, the states complained that NEET-UG was not available in vernacular languages thus disadvantaging some of the state students.
The SC ruled that the Medical Council of India (MCI)'s move to hold a common entrance test NEET for BDS, MBBS and post-graduate medical programmes was 'invalid'. The court said the MCI did not have the authority to force NEET on private and state-run medical institutes. This move violated the constitutional freedom to minority communities to run their own educational colleges, the SC said.
In its general body meeting, the Medical Council of India (MCI) recommended a joint proposal of the MCI and the health ministry to have a unitary 'Common Entrance Test' for all medical courses. MCI said that with cases like Vyapan scam blighting the entrance exam's reputation, the best way to get rid of corruption and benefit the students was through a CET.
Supreme Court passed an order for the implementation of National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for medical courses all over India. SC reversed its 2013 order by which the "common entrance test for admissions to MBBS, BDS and PG courses in all medical colleges was quashed." SC said that it would hear anew the case on the legality of the common entrance test.
The SC insisted that the multiple medical tests should make way for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) from the present (2016-17) session itself. The direction came as students are preparing for various state-administered and private entrance examinations for admission to medical colleges. The SC had been approached by NGO Sankalp Trust, which asked the court to enforce its 11 April verdict on NEET.
SC Justice Anil Dave said the court would consider hearing a plea on the SC's NEET order after the government said it would be difficult for students not proficient in Hindi or English. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi suggested the 1 May exam be canceled and a single exam be conducted on 24 July. However, the court said the exam would happen as scheduled.
Over six lakh students appeared for the first phase of National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), a common medical entrance test for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in India. According to CBSE officials who conducted the test, over 6.67 lakh students had registered for the exam. CBSE officials said, "The exam went smoothly and the feedback we received was largely positive."
The SC is scheduled to hear pleas that states may be allowed to conduct their own entrance examinations outside of the NEET framework. Various states as well as the associations of private medical colleges are aggrieved by the order reiterating that admission to undergraduate medical courses will be only through NEET. A special bench headed by Justice Anil R. Dave will hear the pleas.