A three-judge bench of Supreme Court clearly stated on Friday that students who have appeared in the first phase of NEET (AIPMT) on May 1 would not be allowed to appear for second phase exam scheduled for July 24. However, it added that students who could not appear in May 1 exam, may appear for the same in second phase. The verdict came late in the evening as the hearing was adjourned till Monday.
Solicitor General Rajit Kumar asked the court for some more time as the Centre was slated to conduct a meeting with state education ministers over the weekend. Several states including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Assam have registered opposition for holding NEET as a common entrance test in place of separate CETs which is conducted by state governments for admission in medical courses. The bench comprising of Justice Anil R. Dave, Shiva Kirti Singh and Adarsh Kumar Goel accepted the request and said the hearing would continue on May 9 after considering Centre’s view on separate CETs for states.
MCI Counsel and senior advocate Vikas Singh apprised the court about MCI’s view that state governments should be allowed to conduct their own entrance tests for admissions in state government medical colleges along with NEET as a ‘special case’. However, it should be permitted for this year only, he added. When argued by states and private colleges that the syllabus of proposed NEET was very different and tough for students, Singh said the AIPMT was only called NEET-1 and there was no syllabus change in the exam. The syllabus of AIPMT was made public in January this year and since it is a major medical entrance test, it was highly unlikely that students would have taken it lightly.
CBSE Counsel and Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand informed the court that first phase of NEET was conducted as per the schedule without any glitch in which around 6.5 lakh students appeared.
Reiterating its verdict on entrance tests conducted by private colleges/deemed universities, the apex court said competitive exams conducted by any private college or association or any private/deemed university stand scrapped and they are required to follow NEET for admissions, right from this year.
Earlier, the court also clarified that no High Court can interfere with its verdict on NEET and any challenge on the same would directly heard by it only.
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